Patrice Evra says he could deal with Lionel Messi - but that wasn't the case

Barcelona's Argentinan Lionel Messi (R)

Patrice Evra considers James Milner, not Lionel Messi, to be his toughest ever opponent.

The Frenchmen made the claim on Monday Night Football, even insisting that he could “deal” with Messi.

“I played against Messi many times," Evra said. "In the wide position, I wouldn't say he's easy to mark but I could deal with him.

"When he goes more central - that's when he's more dangerous because he can turn on the right and left."

Evra was a left-back and so Messi wasn’t so much his concern when the Argentinian moved inside.

But the former Manchester United defender believes he coped well against Messi when he played out wide.

Clearly, he’s forgotten about the time Barcelona’s star man completely embarrassed him.

Messi sent Evra sprawling when he lifted the ball over him when Barcelona hosted Man United in the Champions League in 2008.

There’s also the time Evra failed to stop Messi’s run in the 2011 Champions League final, which preceded David Villa’s third goal.

It makes sense for Evra to want to completely erase those moments from his memory.

He expanded upon his reasons for choosing Milner as his toughest opponent.

"James Milner, because he would frustrate me," the five-time Premier League winner added. "I am an attacking defender and he would follow me everywhere, he would challenge me in the air.

"Sometimes I would say to him 'just go and attack - leave me alone!'

Manchester City v Manchester United - FA Community Shield

“When I was playing the derby against Manchester City I had him, then he went to Liverpool and I came up against him again.

"So for me, the one who frustrated me the most was James Milner."

Evra isn’t alone in voicing his frustrations with playing against Milner.

Former Barcelona and Juventus right-back Dani Alves also found him to be a pain.

"I have faced many, but the most annoying was James Milner," he told The Times in 2016, per Goal.

Who knew that Milner caused so many problems to Europe’s elite full-backs?

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