Lionel Messi has revealed the most difficult man market for him. The Argentina International is no stranger to the man-marking tactic often employed against him but insists he is not bothered by it but had learned to live with it.
The six-time Balon D’Or winner says he isn’t bothered by the man-marking tactic and picks Girona’s right-back, Pablo Maffeo as one of his toughest opponents.
Messi’s ability to turn a game on its head has influenced some managers decision to assign a player to him, whose job is to cut him out of the game by following him everywhere on the pitch.
That has in most cases, stopped the Barcelona talisman from making impact in games. Messi is however not bothered by such moves.
“There are ugly games and strange games. Games in which you always have a man close to you. It doesn’t happen to me much. But it doesn’t bother me either. Those are strange, different games,” the Argentine forward told La Liga on DAZN.
“Depending on how the game is going, we [Messi and his man-marker] will say something to each other.”
Though he has mostly been pitted with Real Madrid where he’s had to shrug off defensive tactics put up by Ramos or Casemiro who is often tasked with the responsibility of stopping him from making those deadly forward passes, he singles Maffeo as his toughest opponent.
“I don’t remember, truly. The one from Girona [Maffeo], maybe. That was exaggerated.”
The talented right back, Maffeo is currently on his third loan stint at Girona, but has in the past being on the books of Manchester City. He is now owned by German side, Stuttgart.
Asides this aggressive man-marking ploy, Messi is no stranger to being fouled on countless occasions. The 32-year-old however sees no problem in that as long as his opponent had the intention of winning the ball.
The Barcelona skipper added: “I never complained about it. I think that contact and kicks are part of football. 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.”