Register Login Scores

Messi, Ronaldo, Neymar Watch

Messi Names Surprise Player As Toughest Opponent

With Lionel Messi having come up against some of the world's best defenders during his career so far, the FC Barcelona superstar has now named a surprise player as the toughest opponent he's faced. 

Read: The 10 Richest Clubs In The World Revealed

Messi regularly meets Sergio Ramos in LaLiga, came up against Virgil van Dijk last season against Liverpool and once embarrassed Jerome Boateng in the UEFA Champions League, but the Argentina international overlooked these and more when naming his toughest opponent recently.

The 32-year-old is regularly the victim of man-marking, a tactic he claims does not bother him, but revealed that Girona defender Pablo Maffeo was the toughest player to beat in those circumstances. 

"Pablo Maffeo of Girona (is the toughest), that was intense!" Messi said when asked about his toughest opponent recently, according to DAZN

Read: Messi Reacts To Valverde Sacking

The encounter he refers to came in 2018 when, despite Barcelona winning 3-0, Messi was nullified by the former Spain youth international, who even turned down the chance to trade jerseys after the match.

Following that clash, Maffeo himself commented on his performance and highlighted how challenging it was to mark the record six-time Ballon d'Or winner.

"I had to mark him and I had to be close to him and not watch the ball. It is difficult, not just from a football perspective, but also psychologically," Maffeo said, as per SportBible. 

Click through the gallery below for images of the 2019 UEFA Team of the Year, which includes Lionel Messi!

The former Manchester City youth player is currently enjoying his third stint at Girona, having rejoined the club on loan from VfB Stuttgart at the beginning of this season.

Are you surprised by who Messi said his toughest opponent was? Share your thoughts by commenting in the section below.

comments

Top 5

Comitis: I Don't See Chiefs Getting Special Treatment

115 Dec 03, 2021 10:59 AM in Kaizer Chiefs

Managers Who’ve Already Been Sacked This Season

Nov 08, 2021 12:26 PM in English Premier League

Insider Reveals Extent Of Chiefs’ Covid Ward

65 Dec 03, 2021 11:59 AM in Kaizer Chiefs

7 Players Xavi Could Get Rid Of At Barca

4 Nov 09, 2021 01:26 PM in LaLiga

Bucs Qualify For CCC Without Kicking A Ball

34 Dec 03, 2021 08:13 AM in Orlando Pirates

Finally! FIFA Respond To SAFA Complaint

131 Dec 03, 2021 04:29 PM in Bafana

Ghana Move On From Penalty Drama?

21 Dec 01, 2021 01:29 PM in African Football

Maluleka & 4 Others Struggling For Action At Sundowns

56 Nov 30, 2021 05:01 PM in Mamelodi Sundowns

Chiefs To Reignite Vilakazi Interest?

53 Dec 01, 2021 11:42 AM in Kaizer Chiefs

31 Covid Cases, Chiefs Want 4 Games Postponed!  

123 Dec 03, 2021 06:31 AM in Kaizer Chiefs

BREAKING! All The Ballon d'Or Nominees Revealed

5 Oct 08, 2021 06:33 PM in Ballon d’Or

Pirates Promise Four January ‘Signings’

19 Dec 03, 2021 03:02 PM in Orlando Pirates

12 Players Who Went Bankrupt

25 Dec 07, 2020 12:34 PM in World News

Precedent Set, Chiefs To Be Denied?

64 Dec 03, 2021 02:12 PM in Kaizer Chiefs