Monday, 25 September 2017

PABLO MAFFEO REVEAL REASON WHY HE REFUSED TO SWAP SHIRT WITH MESSI AFTER MAN-MARKING HIM.


Girona Pablo Maffeo Explained Why He Rejected Swapping Shirt With Lionel Messi After Saturday Laliga Game Match.

On Saturday night, Pablo Maffeo had one job and one job only - to stop Lionel Messi from scoring.

Maffeo - who is on loan at Girona from Manchester City - came up against the superstar during Girona’s La Liga clash against Barcelona.

And to stop him from scoring, the 20-year-old followed him around the pitch during the 78 minutes he was on it.
While Maffeo did his job perfectly, his fellow teammates didn’t,

Two own-goals put Barca 2-0 ahead before Luis Suarez added a third late on.

While the five-time Ballon d’Or winner may not have enjoyed being man-marked all match, he did have time for a little chat with Maffeo.


WHAT MESSI SAID TO MAFFEO

The 20-year-old said it was "very good vibes with Leo Messi” - and he even asked about City.

"When you mark Messi, you have to think that he is a normal person, he has two legs like all of us, and to be focused," Maffeo said after the match. 

"Messi told me: 'I've got you here for the whole day' and I said: ’You're the best in the world, I'm not going to leave you.’

"He asked me how old I was, if I had been assigned by Manchester City and what it was like there. He said the marking was not pleasant.


WHY DIDN'T THEY SHIRT SWAP?

So, when the match finished, you would have thought that the two players would swap shirts. After all, Maffeo was grabbing hold of Messi’s most of the game.

However, rather remarkably, Maffeo turned down Messi’s request to swap shirts.


“A friend of mine wanted Ter Stegen’s shirt so I asked the goalkeeper,” Maffeo added. Messi is the best in the world, but friends come first.”


Messi probably hasn’t played against too many players that have refused to swap shirts with him.

Messi probably hasn’t been man-marked so intently for a whole match, either. And Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde has admitted that his star player didn’t quite know what to do.


Barcelona Manager Ernesto Valverde said “Messi came to me in the 10th minute to ask how I wanted him to deal with his marker. Messi did well, he was calm and helped the team.”

“It can happen, but it’s also true that this makes for moments when he can drag his marker out of position and take advantage,”


Messi isn't the strongest player, so by putting constatnt pressure on him, Maffeo was able to stunt his influence on the game.
It's worth mentioning that Maffeo isn't the first player to try and man-mark the Argentine international, so there's an argument to be made that Lionel Messi simply had an off day.

But take nothing awa from Maffeo - he was given a job and did it to perfection.






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