Simon Kjaer says LaLiga leaders Sevilla do not fear Lionel Messi or Barcelona ahead of Saturday's top-of-the-table clash.
Sevilla travel to Camp Nou this weekend with a one-point lead ahead of reigning champions Barcelona after eight matches.
Only Barca have scored more goals than Sevilla this season, with Kjaer's side enjoying a remarkable start to 2018-19 thanks to five wins – including a stunning 3-0 victory over Real Madrid last month.
Barca captain Messi has hit the ground running this term with six LaLiga goals and 11 in all competitions but Kjaer and Sevilla do not fear the five-time Ballon d'Or winner or his team-mates as they prepare to take the game to the holders.
"Are there any more words in the world to use to describe Messi? He is simply a fantastic player, and when he hits his best level, it is extremely difficult to stop him," Kjaer told Omnisport.
"You can't man-mark Messi, because Barcelona have so many other great players that they will just take advantage of the extra space you leave for them. You have to defend collectively against Messi and reduce the spaces he can work in - and that way try to make sure that he will not have his best game against you.
"Again, it is a pleasure - and to me basically the best thing in football - to play against the greatest teams and the greatest players. And try to beat them."
Segunda sesión de trabajo de la semana a la espera de los cuatro internacionales que restan por llegar.— Sevilla Fútbol Club (@SevillaFC) October 16, 2018
Toda la información https://t.co/InMSy30NRL#vamosmisevilla #LuchaPorLoQueAmas pic.twitter.com/YbuebJymCJ
Sevilla have not beaten Barca since 2015 – Pablo Machin's men coming off consecutive defeats to the Catalan giants in the Supercopa de Espana (2-1) and Copa del Rey final (5-0).
Not since 2010 have Sevilla beaten Barca at Camp Nou – that rare away success coming in the Copa del Rey during Pep Guardiola's tenure.
"You can't go to Camp Nou with fear in your mind, because then you will get destroyed," Denmark captain Kjaer added. "You have to believe in yourself as a team - believe in the way you play football. So no, we don't fear them but obviously we respect them as one of the greatest teams in the world.
"Having said that, it is our job to make sure that they don't reach their maximum level against us. And that we reach ours. You have to make Barca uncomfortable and challenge them with your game plan, so that they have to focus on playing both ways - and not only attacking the opponent. Parking the bus is not an option at Camp Nou. Then you will lose nine out of 10 times."
|Niasse joins Cardiff on loan from Everton|
|Hendrick credited with Fulham strike|
|Western Sydney Wanderers 1 Adelaide United 2: Goodwin compounds Wanderers woes|
|Chahal and Dhoni carry India to ODI triumph|
|Levante report Barcelona for alleged use of ineligible player in Copa del Rey|
|Solskjaer regrets Sanchez´s Reading setback|
|Tomic brands Hewitt a ´liar´ as feud continues|
|Ruthless Nadal thrashes teenager De Minaur|
|Wozniacki enjoyed status as defending champion in Melbourne|
|Solskjaer backs Mourinho to return to football´s big time|
|Murray to miss Open 13 Marseille|
|Solskjaer´s United turnaround no easy task, says Hughton|
|The big Friday Premier League quiz|
|How James Harden´s 2018-19 numbers compare to his MVP campaign|
|It´s insane! - Tsitsipas excited to face ´legend´ Federer|
|Sharapova ends Wozniacki title defence|
|American teen Anisimova sends records tumbling at Aus Open|
|Lakers survive Ball´s gaffe to beat Thunder in OT|
|Federer expects ´athletic´ and ´attacking´ Tsitsipas clash|
|Alcacer is fit and available – Favre|
|Fantastic Federer breezes past Fritz|
|Pogba happy with Man United approach under Solskjaer|
|Mickelson leads Desert Classic, ties career-low with 12-under 60|
|Warriors´ Durant on Curry: He´s a once-in-a-generation, once-in-a-lifetime talent|
|Patriots owner says Brady is greatest player, not just quarterback, of all time|
|Inglis to retire from representative duty this year, NRL in 2020|
|Is Beal better without Wall? Wizards star says it´s ´absolutely nonsense´|
|Rockets C Capela undergoes thumb surgery, expected back after All-Star break|
|This Week in U.S. Sports: Irving apologises, Machado´s agent isn´t happy|
|Knicks in woeful shape, but 2019 could still be bright in New York|
|Valverde not worried about Levante´s Copa appeal|
|Nowell an option for England at flanker, reveals Jones|
|Pellegrini: Arnautovic available for the right price|
|Knicks throw away 19-point lead and lose on last-second goaltending call|
|Tebow invited back to Mets´ major league spring training|
|Canelo and Jacobs agree unification fight|
|Barcelona 3 Levante 0 (4-2 agg): Dembele at the double as Barca advance|
|Levante to lodge complaint over Barcelona Copa selection|
|Kanter´s London absence ´very unfortunate´, says NBA commissioner|
|NBA could swap London for Paris in 2020|
|Spurs coach Popovich uncertain if he will return next season|
|Pistons´ Griffin fined for verbal abuse of official|
|Everton do not have financial conditions to enter transfer market - Silva|
|Andy Cole joins Sol Campbell´s coaching staff at Macclesfield|
|Atletico confirm Saul has thigh injury|
|Wood replaces injured Stone in England squad|
|Lebanon 4 North Korea 1: Disciplinary record cruelly denies Radulovic´s men|
|Saudi Arabia 0 Qatar 2: In-form Ali bags brace as Qatar top group|
|Robertson signs new Liverpool deal|
|Vunipola backs Farrell to thrive in solo leadership role|
|People don´t know what´s going on behind the scenes - Mourinho defends United stint|
|Indefatigable Muguruza knocks out Konta at 3:12am|
|Serena coasts, difficulties for Halep and Muguruza´s marathon|
|Lowry retains Abu Dhabi lead|
|Djokovic battles past Tsonga, young guns flourish|
|Louisville airport to be renamed in Muhammad Ali´s honour|
|Emery not thinking about Ozil speculation|
|Sri Lanka hopeful over Kusal Mendis finger injury|
|Oman 3 Turkmenistan 1: Last-gasp Al-Musallami guarantees progression|
|Emery wants Cech to end career ´in a good moment´|
|Japan 2 Uzbekistan 1: Shiotani stunner seals comeback and top spot|
|Calhanoglu deal ´financially impossible´ for Leipzig|
|Not seen at Aus Open since Nadal, Djokovic and Murray in 2009 – ´Next Gen´ make move|
|Martial: Solskjaer lets me express myself|
|Djokovic sees off Tsonga to reach third round|
|Returning Cousins calls Warriors ´the most hated team in sports´|
|Halep injury ´nothing dangerous´|
|Warner picks up elbow injury in Bangladesh|
|Mkhitaryan returning to Arsenal training next week|
|Leeds United pounce for Real Madrid goalkeeper Casilla|