Lyon's Marcelo found it tougher to face Kylian Mbappe than Lionel Messi this season


Lyon will be feeling pretty pleased with their Champions League performance against Barcelona.

Sure, they could have taken advantage of playing at home to go for victory, but ensuring the Blaugrana didn't score an away goal was absolutely vital.

Although there were plenty of chances throughout the game - including one that required a superb Marc-Andre Ter Stegen save - it won't live long in the memory and finished 0-0.

It gives Lyon the opportunity to throw the kitchen sink at their Spanish opponents in the Nou Camp, but they'll need to remain defensively sturdy once again.

The French side had to deal with a myriad of attacking talent with Luis Suarez, Ousmane Dembele and Philippe Coutinho all featuring at Parc Olympique Lyonnais.

Lyon 0-0 Barcelona

Yet, of course, that neglects to mention the great Lionel Messi who struggled to make his usual impact in the Champions League, despite boasting 30 goals this season.

That could all change during the second leg but the Lyon defence will currently be confident about their chances of handling him and that certainly seems the case with Marcelo.

The Brazilian - not to be confused with his Real Madrid namesake - has compared defending against Messi with trying to handle Kylian Mbappe in an interview with Goal.


Kylian Mbappe vs Lionel Messi

Although Messi is currently considered to be superior to the young Mbappe, Marcelo thought the Barcelona star's performance dipped below the one he faced from the 20-year-old.

"The players I've played against in recent times are at the very top level," he explained.

"Playing against Mbappe this season, he gave me a lot of work.

Messi didn't play very well [on Tuesday], but Mbappe, for the speed, positioning, having direct confrontations with him, he was the most difficult.

"I think there is a great possibility that he will soon become the best in the world. There are some points that he needs to improve to be compared to Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, but he is evolving very fast."

What makes the comparison fascinating is that Mbappe didn't necessarily play brilliantly when he faced Marcelo, either. In fact, PSG lost that game 2-1 in February.

Sure, the French wonderkid scored four goals against Lyon during their original meeting this season, but Marcelo was watching from the Parc des Prince bench. 


You'd have to imagine that Messi would still be harder to defend when both are playing at the top of their game but the comparison isn't all that biased in this instance.

Mbappe is a handy dribbler himself and his status as arguably world football's fastest player makes him a major threat to defenders.

And in the opinion of Marcelo, he could be dining at the table of footballing greats in just a matter of years.

Who do you think would be tougher to defend against - Messi or Mbappe? Have your say in the comments section below.

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