Lionel Messi Toughest Defender Has Faced [DETAILS]

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Lionel Messi Toughest Defender Has Faced [DETAILS]

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Lionel Messi Toughest Defender Has Faced [DETAILS]

The legendary forward, who’s locked horns with the likes of Sergio Ramos and Virgil van Dijk, made the bombshell declaration during an interview with broadcaster DAZN

Barcelona forward Lionel Messi has labelled a former Manchester City defender as the toughest opponent he has faced during his illustrious career.

Since making his debut for the Spanish giants back in 2004, the Argentina international has regularly locked horns with some of the world’s best defenders.

The 32-year-old has enjoyed plenty of battles with Real Madrid’sSergio Ramos in El Clasico , while the likes of Nemanja Vidic and Thiago Silva have also sought to find a way to stop Messi.

But when asked in an extensive interview with DAZN about the toughest opponent he had faced, the Barca legend opted for a somewhat left-field choice.

Lionel Messi Toughest Defender Has Faced [DETAILS]

“I don’t remember [who the toughest man marker has been, truly. The one from Girona (Pablo Maffeo), maybe. That was exaggerated,” the 32-year-old told DAZN’s La Liga show.

Lionel Messi picks out his toughest ever opponent 

Ex-City defender Maffeo came up against Messi during two loan spells away from the Etihad Stadium at Girona, who are part-owned by the City Football Group.

The Spaniard joined the English champions from Espanyol in 2013, but never made featured for them in the Premier League during a three-year stint with the club.

The 22-year-old left the Etihad in 2018 and moved to Stuttgart, but suffered the agony of relegation from the Bundesliga in his first season with the outfit.

Maffeo rejoined Girona on loan last summer and has become a regular fixture in defence as they look to secure a return to La Liga having dropped into the Segunda Division last season.

The right-back’s man-marking appears to have stuck with Messi and Maffeo is not the only player to have been given the brief to solely focus on the Argentine for 90 minutes.

And though that has seen the 32-year-old pick up plenty of scrapes over the course of his 16-year career, he accepts it is just a part of the game.

“I never complained about it. I think that contact and kicks are part of football,” he added.

It does bother me when the tackles have bad intentions. If that isn’t the case, then it’s part of the game and I don’t take it badly.”

Lionel Messi Toughest Defender Has Faced [DETAILS]

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