http://i0.wp.com/www.timeslive.co.za/multimedia/dynamic/00211/GYI0058671467_jpg_211883b.jpg?resize=181%2C229Lionel Messi sees Arsenal as genuine challengers to Barcelona’s defense of their European crown.

The talented Argentine was speaking with Nick Bidwell in an interview on ESPN yesterday and acknowledged English teams as a threat in the Champions League.

The 22-year-old lauded Arsenal’s style of play and drew similarities between their Catalan football and that of Wenger’s men.

And ahead of Friday’s draw for the quarter-finals in Nyon, Lionel may relish a glamorous meeting with the Gunners should Barcelona see off Stuttgart today.

“Once again, I expect the big challenge to come from England in the Champions League.” Messi said.

“Arsenal are a team to consider because of their fantastic build-up play. They are like us at Barca in so many ways. Rather than being from London, they should be from South America. Andrei Arshavin and Cesc Fabregas are touch-players I love to watch.”

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