Barcelona captain, Lionel Messi has named Girona’s Pablo Maffeo as one of the toughest defenders he has come up across in his glittering career.
Messi played against Maffeo in Barca’s 3-0 win over Girona in 2017 and was man-marked by the 22-year-old.
The Argentine endured a frustrating night, as his impact in the match was reduced by Maffeo.
Asked if he feared any defender in his career, Messi claims he’s not bothered by the man marking but named Maffeo as his most complicated marker.
“Man marking doesn’t bother me, but you already know that there will be bad matches, it is strange to always have someone around,” Messi told La Liga on DAZN.
“In truth it hasn’t happened to me so often. It doesn’t bother me, but it is strange.”
Messi added: “Pablo Maffeo of Girona. That was too exaggerated.
“I’ve never been one who complains. I think physical contact and kicks are part of the game.
“I get more annoyed when I played bad and I get a little more angry. But if I’m not, it’s not a problem, it’s part of the game and I don’t take it badly.”
Maffeo, who is currently owned by Stuttgart, has also played for Manchester City on loan.