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World Cup winning-defender Nesta will go down as one of the greatest centre-backs in football history.
Nesta, who was 37 at the time, faced a young Messi who was firing on all cylinders, having ended the campaign with an astonishing 73 goals.
And the former Lazio and AC Milan superstar has recalled the moment the Barcelona phenom got the better of him in a fascinating duel while weighing in on the Messi vs. Cristiano Ronaldo debate.
"In the tenth minute I kicked Messi and fell to the ground exhausted, I could see the stars," he said via Goal.
"He was already giving me his hand to pull me up. There he mentally destroyed me."
He added: "Do you understand? I was on the ground and when after two seconds I open my eyes, I see his face with his hand in front that he wanted to help me get up.
"He mentally destroyed me there."
Nesta also came up against Ronaldo and on football's age-old question, he added: "I played against both Ronaldo and Messi.
"The little one (Messi) is phenomenal: but the other scores 40 goals a year.
"They are both strong each in their own way. I prefer not to meet Messi between the two."
Featured Image Credit: PA
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