Ibrahimovic and Messi go head to head

Ibrahimovic and Messi go head to head

MILAN - The Associated Press
Ibrahimovic and Messi go head to head

Milan forward Ibrahimovic will face his former teammates tonight. AP photo

With most fans keeping an eye on Lionel Messi, it will be Zlatan Ibrahimovic that is out to prove something when AC Milan hosts defending champions Barcelona tonight in the first leg of the Champions League quarterfinals.

Ibrahimovic spent an unhappy season at Barcelona before heading to Milan after falling out with coach Pep Guardiola and several of his teammates. But on Saturday, he scored his 29th goal of the season in Milan’s 2-1 win over Roma.

In the Champions League, Ibrahimovic has scored five goals in six games. Messi, however, scored that amount of goals in his last Champions League game, a 7-1 win over Bayer Leverkusen.

“We have to think about stopping all the Barcelona players, not only Messi,” Ibrahimovic said. “As they will have to stop all the Milan players, not just me.”

Milan should welcome back Maxi Lopez and Robinho from injury but fellow strikers Antonio Cassano, Filippo Inzaghi and Alexandre Pato are still out, along with defender Thiago Silva.

Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes feels that will have little impact on the outcome.

“It’s a good moment (to play them) but they are always a dangerous team,” Valdes said. “We saw it in the group phase and they are in good form now. They have some injuries but historically they have always been there in Europe and they have enough important players to replace the injured.”

Lionel Messi, Zlatan Ibrahimovic