Marquinhos had to mark Lionel Messi during Brazil v Argentina with a virus

Trying to mark Lionel Messi is one of the toughest jobs in world football.

The mercurial Barcelona and Argentina forward never sticks to a set position and constantly drifts across the pitch looking to torment defenders.

But just imagine trying to mark arguably the greatest footballer of all time with diarrhoea.

Not great, right? Well that’s exactly what Brazilian defender Marquinhos had to do in the Copa America semi-final.

On the morning of the game, Marquinhos was feeling worse for wear but still soldiered on to play 64 minutes of the match before he was replaced by Inter Milan’s Miranda.

Think your Sunday League hangover is bad? It doesn’t even come close to Marquinhos’ predicament.

“It was not easy, no,” Marquinhos said when asked about marking Messi, per Esporte.

“He (Messi) was on an inspired night, not only him but the Argentine team, they played a great game. It was very difficult, but I think the team selection managed to cancel out the attacks of Argentina.”

Marquinhos continued: “On the day of the game, I ended up suffering a virus, and I spent the day at the hotel. It was very complicated, I had diarrhoea and was vomiting.

“I still managed to play, but with the effort I put in it worsened and eventually I had to leave the game.”

What a trooper and he’ll certainly be thankful that he didn’t do a Gary Lineker.

The Match of the Day presenter famously followed through on the pitch in a game against Ireland at the 1990 World Cup and he’s still reminded of it daily.

Marquinhos managed to avoid that happening and kept a clean sheet (excuse the pun) during his 64 minutes on the pitch.

That’s how you do it, Gary.

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