Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi picks surprise defender as his toughest man-marker


Messi reveals the toughest man-marker he has ever faced
Lionel Messi reveals the toughest man marker he has ever faced (Imago)

The Argentine has been at the receiving end of some strong tackles over the years but claims that he isn’t bothered by them.

Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi has claimed that Girona’s Pablo Maffeo is one of the toughest opponents he has faced in his nearly two-decade-long career.

The 32-year-old further stated that despite being on the receiving end of some strong tackles over the years, he isn’t bothered by them having learned how to live with the attention he receives on the pitch.

His ability to move the ball around the pitch and come out better in almost every situation has convinced the opposition managers to instruct their players to not give Messi a moment’s respite.

That realization means that, even when he doesn’t have the ball, the Argentine is rarely alone on the pitch as the opposing teams know what the maestro is capable of doing if left to his own devices.

Messi identifies Maffeo as his toughest man marker

Lionel Messi Vs Alaves
FC Barcelona Barca s Leo Messi (R) vies for the ball with Deportivo Alaves Ximo Navarro during a Spanish First Division League match between Deportivo Alaves and FC Barcelona, at the Mendizorrotza stadium, in Vitoria, Basque Country, Spain, 23 April 2019. Deportivo Alaves vs. FC Barcelona !ACHTUNG: NUR REDAKTIONELLE NUTZUNG! PUBLICATIONxINxGERxSUIxAUTxONLY Copyright: xAdrianxRuizxdexHierrox GRAF6381 20190424-636916636353298238
While speaking to La Liga on DAZN, the Barcelona forward claimed that while he has grown used to someone man-marking him in every game, he still finds it strange.

"Man-marking doesn't bother me - you know that there will be tough matches and it can be strange to always have someone around you," said Messi.

"In truth, it hasn't happened to me that often. It doesn't bother me, but it is strange."

Despite the fact that he has come face-to-face with Real Madrid center-half Sergio Ramos on numerous occasions in his career, Messi identified Girona full-back Maffeo as his toughest man-marker.

"Pablo Maffeo of Girona," the Barcelona ace stated when questioned about the toughest man-marker he has faced. "That was intense!"

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Giving a hint as to why he has been one of the greatest players of all-time, Messi revealed that it was playing bad that makes him angry.

"I've never been one who complains. I think physical contact and kicks are part of the game," he said.

"I get more annoyed when I play bad and I get a little more angry. But if I'm not [playing bad], it's not a problem, it's part of the game and I don't take it personally."

Barca faithful would hope that the Argentine has no reason to feel angry with himself when their side play their first game under new manager Quique Setien at the weekend.

The La Liga leaders will host Granada on Sunday evening.

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