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Football

Toby Alderweireld describes what it's like to play against Lionel Messi in fascinating insight

Nasir Jabbar

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Toby Alderweireld describes what it's like to play against Lionel Messi in fascinating insight

Toby Alderweireld has provided a fascinating insight into what it's like to play against Lionel Messi, highlighting the star forward's deceiving physique.

Alderweireld recalled his duel with Messi when Tottenham played Barcelona in the Champions League in 2018.

Image: Alamy
Image: Alamy

Asked to pick the best player he played against in his career, the former Spurs defender didn't hesitate to name Messi.

Alderweireld, who currently plays for Royal Antwerp, revealed what makes the Argentine so special and believes he's better than Cristiano Ronaldo.

On his toughest opponent, he said: "Messi. I usually read the play on the field and often I succeed. But Messi... ooh. One night at Wembley when we lost 4-2 against Barcelona (with Tottenham) he was unprecedented... really unprecedented.

"You can’t get a grip on him. Everything he does, he does it just that little faster than you. He does this, then he does that, it goes so fast. I really had a feeling I couldn’t do anything against him."

Asked what he did during the game, the Belgium international joked: "Hoping time goes as fast as possible.

"We got back into the game which was positive and negative. We started attacking more but I had to face him even more one-on-one because there was more space.

"That’s the thing, you don’t know what he’s going to do. That’s the special thing, you can’t train for that."

Image: Alamy
Image: Alamy

Alderweireld also touched on Messi's physicality. He claims the current Paris Saint-Germain ace looks like a 'slender guy', but in actual is far from it - pinpointing his thighs.

"You try to get in duels with him. He looks like a slender guy so you try to get physical," he added. "But he’s not slender at all, if you look at his thighs you think... wow.

"He is so fast. The quality, the ball control, It's not normal."

On Messi vs. Ronaldo, the 33-year-old said: "Yeah, I played against Ronaldo many times. Of course, his numbers don’t lie, but Messi was the best, because he is simply elusive.

"You can’t get hold of him."

Featured Image Credit: via Twitter/Alamy

Topics: Lionel Messi, Tottenham Hotspur, Barcelona, Football

Nasir Jabbar
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