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Footage Emerges Of Lionel Messi's Toughest Opponent Of All Time Becoming His 'Shadow' With Unreal Man-Marking Performance

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Footage Emerges Of Lionel Messi's Toughest Opponent Of All Time Becoming His 'Shadow' With Unreal Man-Marking Performance

Pablo Maffeo showed exactly why Lionel Messi hailed him as his toughest opponent of all time after becoming his ‘shadow’ with a sublime man-marking performance.

Messi, who left Barcelona in the summer to sign for Paris Saint-Germain, came up against Maffeo when his opponent played for Girona.

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The six-time Ballon d'Or winner insisted that man-marking “doesn't bother him,” but he claimed Maffeo was “intense” as a man-marker.

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“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,” Messi said.

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

“Pablo Maffeo of Girona [was the toughest man-marker]. That was intense!

“I've never been one who complains. I think physical contact and kicks are part of the game.

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Credit: YouTube
Credit: YouTube

“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.”

Footage has since made the rounds of when Maffeo, who is currently on loan at Real Mallorca, came up against Messi in 2017 in Barcelona's 3-0 win at the Estadi Montilivi.

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The 24-year-old Spanish right-back relentlessly kept on top of the Barcelona legend a la Ji-Sung Park’s performance against Andrea Pirlo in the Champions League.

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“When Messi woke up in the morning, he [realised] that Maffeo is still marking him,” one fan said.

While another posted: “Legend has it that Maffeo flew to Paris, still man-marking the GOAT.”

And a third added: “He was standing right behind Messi on free-kicks and corners as well... even penalties.”

A fourth commented: “Is he still marking Messi even in [the] bathroom?”

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Credit: YouTube
Credit: YouTube

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Maffeo has been loaned out to Girona for three different loan spells, but he revealed Messi wanted to know more about him after the match.

“He [Messi] asked me a couple of things, like if I was loaned by [Manchester] City and how old I was. It was all good,” he said in a post-match interview.

The VfB Stuttgart player added: “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. I appreciate the trust the coach placed in me.”

Featured Image Credit: YouTube

Topics: Lionel Messi, Girona, Barcelona, La Liga, Spain, Football

Adnan Riaz
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