Hartson was part of the Celtic side that drew with Barcelona in 2004 after manager Martin O'Neill opted to man-mark Ronaldinho, and Hartson believes that Neil Lennon could use his Kenyan midfielder to similar effect against Lionel Messi in the Nou Camp.
Hartson told The Scotsman: "People say you can't man-mark Messi, but some people said the same about Ronaldinho. When we went to the Nou Camp for that game in 2004, Ronaldinho was the best player on the planet. He was the equivalent of Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo now.
"I don't know if that will be Neil's tactic on Tuesday night with Messi. Wanyama could do it. He's big, strong and intercepts things. He has come on leaps and bounds recently.
"He's good with the ball, clever. He's a big unit, a good athlete. He's a bit like Bobo Balde, but better on the ball than Bobo was."
The 21-year-old has scored nine goals in 55 appearances for Celtic.