There are some football fans who believe that Lionel Messi wouldn’t be as consistently brilliant in the Premier League as he is with Barcelona in La Liga.
In the eyes of the same people, this is why Cristiano Ronaldo is a better footballer than Messi.
Ronaldo has proven that he can do it on a cold, wet night against Stoke City - apparently the ultimate test for any footballer - while Messi, obviously, has not.
It’s unlikely that we’ll ever know for sure if Messi could cut it at the bet365 Stadium against the Potters, who currently ply their trade in the Championship, with the five-time Ballon d’Or winner expected to see out the remainder of his career at the Camp Nou.
However, the man himself is convinced that he would have little trouble performing on a cold night in Staffordshire.
“I asked Messi about people in England saying: ‘You would not do so well on a cold, wet night in Stoke’,” Spanish football journalist Guillem Balague said on BBC 5 Live Sport last week.
”He said: ‘They should have seen the pitches I played on in Rosario and I was quite good there too’.”
Touché, Leo. Touché.
However, footage has emerged of a match that Messi was involved in against Malaga back in November 2008, which shows how he performs when conditions are less than perfect.
Watch the video here...
Barça’s superstars travelled to La Rosaleda and were greeted by a waterlogged pitch. How the match was allowed to go ahead is anyone’s guess.
Messi played for 79 minutes before he was subbed off by Pep Guardiola for Victor Sanchez - but during his time on the pitch, Messi produced a typically brilliant performance.
It was Messi who won the free-kick from which Xavi scored the opening goal in the fifth minute.
The Argentina international, who was just 21 at the time, then put Barça 2-1 up with an excellent finish from inside the drenched penalty area.
Messi then played a part in Barça’s third goal of the night, scored by Xavi, in the second half.
Despite the fact he was clearly targeted by Malaga’s players, who attempted to kick the South American at every available opportunity, Messi never stopped showing for the ball.
Other players may have drifted out of the game given the conditions and treatment from the opposition, but Messi showed his mental toughness and bravery on this occasion.
A game against Stoke would have been in a walk in the park for Messi in comparison.