Opponent Reveals What Messi Asked Him During Game
Opponent Reveals What Lionel Messi Asked Him During Game
Pablo Maffeo, who has been praised for the way he man-marked Lionel Messi over the weekend, has now revealed what the superstar asked him during their match.
The 20-year-old Girona defender, who is on loan at the Spanish club from Pep Guardiola's Manchester City, was tasked with man-marking Messi and impressed before being substituted in the 79th minute.
"When you cover Messi, you have to think that he's a normal person, that he has two legs like everyone else," Maffeo said, as quoted by Spanish publication Sport.
"Messi said to me 'I've got you here for the whole game' and I responded: 'You're the best in the world, what am I going to do.'
"He asked me a couple of things: if I was on loan from Man City and how old I was. He was very humble.
"We were talking because I was stuck to him the whole match. There was no bad feeling or anything funny. He's the best player in the world and if you don't stick to him, he can score at any moment.
"I had to be with him and to stop him touching the ball. It's difficult, not just in terms of the football, but physiologically. I am grateful for the confidence the coach showed in me."
Despite man-marking Messi for most of the game, Maffeo did not ask for the Argentine's shirt after the match, and explained why.
"A friend of mine wanted (Marc-Andre) Ter Stegen's so I asked for his. Messi is the best in the world, but friends come first," he said.
Despite Maffeo being able to stop Messi from scoring, Barcelona beat the La Liga newcomers 3-0 courtesy of two own goals and a strike from Luis Suarez.
What would you chat to Messi about if you were man-marking him? Have your say in the comments section below.