8 Apr 2010

Messi strikes fear into Real

7:52 am on 8 April 2010

Lionel Messi's destruction of Arsenal in the Champions League has filled the Madrid-based sports press with trepidation ahead of this weekend's "Clasico" between Barcelona and Real Madrid at the Bernabeu.

The Argentinian striker's four goals in Barcelona's 4-1 home in over Arsenal has prompted headlimes such as "How do we stop this guy?" and "Messi is the one who scares us",

The 22-year-old World Player of the Year tops the La Liga scoring chart with 26, two ahead of Real striker and compatriot Gonzalo Higuain.

Real top the standings on goal difference with eight matches remaining but after Sunday's clash the head-to-head record will separate the arch-rivals if they are still level on points.

Barcelona have the advantage there after their1-0 home win in November and defeat for Real would be a serious setback to their hopes of success in the only competition they remain alive in this season.