Messi names surprise defender as toughest opponent he has faced
Messi names surprise defender as toughest opponent he has faced
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Messi names surprise defender as toughest opponent he has faced

Barcelona ace Lionel Messi has picked Girona's Pablo Maffeo as one of the toughest opponents he has ever faced. 

The Argentine is arguably the best player on the planet, and always attracts attention from defenders anytime on the pitch. 

He has faced some of the best defenders in his career spanning 15 years but says Maffeo is one of the toughest he has ever faced. 

"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," Messi told La Liga on DAZN.

"Depending on how the game is going, we [Messi and his man-marker] will say something to each other."

"I don’t remember, truly. The one from Girona [Maffeo], maybe. That was exaggerated."

Maffeo is currently at Girona on loan from Stuttgart but has also been on Manchester City's books. 

Despite being one of the most fouled players, Messi says he does not take it personal, provided there are no ill intentions. 

He 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."

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