Alphonso Davies (l.) has long since looked up to Lionel Messi (r.) but has the tools to shut down his game according to Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. - © Getty Images
Alphonso Davies (l.) has long since looked up to Lionel Messi (r.) but has the tools to shut down his game according to Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. - © Getty Images
bundesliga

"Alphonso Davies will take care of Lionel Messi" - Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge

Alphonso Davies is well equipped to stop Lionel Messi when Bayern Munich take on Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals in Lisbon on Friday according to club chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.

Canadian youngster Davies had been a doubt to face the Catalan giants after feeling a tightening of his groin in training on Wednesday. Now, though, Rummenigge isn't just confident that the 19-year-old will play but that he has all the tools to contain six-time Ballon d'Or winner Messi.

"It's a difficult and interesting task," said the former forward, a two-time European champion with Bayern in the 1970s. "But we have a good 'Messi stopper'. If Messi plays on his side, Alphonso will take care of him. He hasn't really been outpaced or dribbled past this season."

Davies has posted incredible numbers since being repurposed from a winger to a full-back in 2019/20. The former Vancouver Whitecaps wide man won an average of 15 one-on-ones per game as Bayern sealed a Bundesliga and DFB Cup double, and recorded the fastest ever top speed in league history - 22.7mph - in the 1-0 win over Werder Bremen on Matchday 32.

Watch: Davies under the tactical microscope

Messi, of course, boasts quite some numbers of his own. The Argentine has won the Champions League four times and this season has three goals and three assists from seven games in the competition. Davies is delighted to be taking him on.

"My dad called me, and he was like: 'So you're playing against your favourite player, I see.' And I went: 'Yeah.' And then we started laughing," Davies told UEFA. "We couldn't even believe it, because he knows I looked up to Messi when I was younger."

Now Davies could have a huge say in which side boasts wider smiles after Damir Skomina's full-time whistle sounds at the Estadio da Luz.