Lionel Messi has embarrassed many, many defenders during his career.
One drop of the shoulder and he’s gone.
The problem for opposing players is that Messi seems so relaxed on the ball, often coming to a walking pace. And then, just like that, he’s past you.
He’s the ultimate troll, leading defenders to think they have a chance of taking the ball from him before leaving them wondering what on earth just happened.
The list of defenders who have felt that way probably enters into the hundreds but few had it worse than former Atletico Madrid player Mariano Pernia.
Pernia played against Messi when the Argentine produced one of the finest individual performances in his career, earning a standing ovation from Atleti’s supporters after netting a hat-trick in a 3-1 win in 2009.
Pernia was left utterly bamboozled when Messi produced his trademark move; the shoulder feint that made the defender go one way while Messi went the other.
Watch: Messi destroys Pernia
The former left-back was stunned, admitting in an interview that he had no response when his wife asked him what had happened.
“Yes, I faced Messi - unfortunately…,” Pernia was quoted as saying by AS.
“The worst of all was that, we were losing 3-1 and he received the ball near the halfway line. And he just stopped, completely stopped, with the ball at his feet.
"I was about seven or eight yards away and thought to myself: ‘Ah his bottle’s gone!’
“So, I approached him… I don’t know what he did next…
“Anyway, after the game, when I got back home, my wife asked me: ‘What did he do to you?’ and I said: ‘How do I know!? I’ve no idea! What did you see on the TV?’.
“Everyone says Messi always cuts inside when he starts his runs, so I went to block him and in the blink of an eye, he darted past me on the other side.
“I don’t know how he did it, I’ve no idea. It was like he pulled off all of these trick moves all in one. He went past me, then two others and I don’t know how but he struck the bar – thankfully!”
You get the impression that Pernia had some sleepless nights after that match.