Former Celtic defender relishing challenge of facing Lionel Messi's PSG in Champions League

Lionel Messi will play his first Champions League game for new club PSG tonight when they travel to Belgium to face Club Brugge.

Scotland international Jack Hendry will line up for Club Brugge against PSG as Lionel Messi makes his European debut for the Parisians (Photo by Christian Hofer/Getty Images)

All eyes will be on the Jan Breydel Stadium tonight as the Argentinian makes his 150th appearance in the competition and his first for a club other than Barcelona.

Charged with the always daunting task of keeping the 34-year-old quiet and trying to stop him from adding to his 120 Champions League goals will be former Celtic centre back Jack Hendry and his Brugge teammates.

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The Scotland international, 26, will also be making his Champions League debut for his new team, having made his first appearance for the Belgian side last Friday in a 3-0 win over former club Oostende.

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The former Dundee man spoke to BBC Radio Scotland’s Sportsound programme and said he is looking forward to lining up against Messi and the other world class attackers in the Parisian side, Neymar Jnr and Kylian Mbappe.

"It's a game that I'm really looking forward to, to test myself against that type of opposition – probably the best front three in the world,” said Hendry.

"I feel that I'm ready to play at this level and it's about showing that and doing your talking on the pitch."

Hendry, who began his senior career with Partick Thistle but first made his mark at Dundee, played a crucial role in Scotland’s 1-0 World Cup qualifing win over Austria earlier this month.

He signed for Celtic in 2018 but couldn’t nail down a regular spot in the starting line-up and spent time on loan in Australia and Belgium before joining Oostende on a permanent transfer, who sold him to Brugge last month for a fee reported to be in the region of £6m.

Playing in the Champions League was one of the main factors in Hendry’s decision to sign for reigning Belgian First Division champions.

"It was one of the reasons that I came to Club Brugges, the stature of the football club, but also the fact that they were playing in the Champions League," Hendry said.

"We've got a really strong squad and we're going to make the most of it."

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