Theo Walcott is one of the most dangerous players Barcelona ever faced – Lionel Messi
The year is 2010, March, and Barcelona are preparing to line up against Arsenal in the Champions League first leg at the Emirates Stadium.
The Spanish giants led by Pep Guardiola would dominate the game.
Send ‘NEWS’ to 40227 to receive all the important breaking news as it happens
Zlatan Ibrahimovic would give the Gunners the lead in the second half. The Swede would add another 13 minutes later 2-0 up and cruising.
On the 66th minute, however, everything changed. Arsenal brought on Theo Walcott and the electric winger immediately started running at the Barcelona defence.
Within three minutes of coming oi, he pulled one back for Arsenal.
The on-fire Walcott would be involved in the equaliser as well. He floated a dangerous ball into the box, which ‘Lord Bendtner’ nodded into the path of Cesc Fabregas.
The former Barcelona midfielder was brought down in the box. Penalty to Arsenal.
Arsenal’s captain at the time, he would pick himself up and dispatch the penalty past Victor Valdes.
The game would end 2-2 and it was Theo who got all the plaudits.
The Catalan giants still went through. They won the second leg 4-1, but they never forgot Walcott’s performance.
The following year, Messi still vividly remembered the performance.
“ He is definitely one of the most dangerous players I have ever faced. Barcelona players, are not scared easily, but I can tell you, he really scared us in 2010. He single handedly salvaged a draw for them,” said Messi.
Walcott played for the shirt that day and left an impression not only on the world’s best player, but on the world’s best team at the time.
Although most football fans agree that he probably never really hit the heights his talent merited, he always scored in the big games and in the crucial moments.
At 19, he also became the youngest ever player to score a hatrick for England away to Croatia in 2008.
Walcott now wears the number 11 for Everton who are currently in 9th position and play Cardiff City on Tuesday, February 26.
If Marco Silva’s men are to get back to winning ways, especially at Goodison Park, they will have to keep the electric winger fit, and play with width.
They will have to allow Walcott to do what he does best. For the fans. For the