Remembering Alessandro Nesta's perfect tackle on Barcelona's Lionel Messi

Alessandro Nesta's tackle on Lionel Messi was simply perfection

Alessandro Nesta is without doubt one of the greatest defenders to have played the beautiful game.

The Italian was a Rolls-Royce of a player, an elegant centre-back that pretty much every attacker dreaded coming up against.

Nesta made his name at Lazio where he enjoyed nine trophy-laden years, but his time with AC Milan is where the great man is most fondly remembered.

The current Frosinone manager was part of a formidable back-line that comprised of Paolo Maldini, Cafu and more.

At his peak, no one got past that defence - Nesta in particular - easily, but Milan's pragmatic game was significantly weaker when they played Barcelona in 2011.

Nesta was still there at the age of 36, but surely the once seemingly immovable object was too old to compete with the mercurial Lionel Messi?

Think again. So on Nesta's 44th birthday, we want to remind everyone of a truly masterful piece of defending, a tackle that belongs in a museum.

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So a peak Messi charges into the box, feints to shoot a number of times and eventually ends up in a position perfect for one of his trademark left-foot pile-drivers past the 'keeper.

Most defenders in their prime would just give up, but an ageing Nesta jumps in and delivers the perfect slide tackle to thwart the diminutive Argentine.

Messi himself can do nothing but smile in acknowledgement after, a truly special Champions League moment.

They just don't make defenders like Nesta anymore. Perhaps the closest player operating in the current game to the Italian is Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk, but the Dutchman has a long way to go be mentioned in the same breath as his predecessor.

Nesta vs Messi

Nesta called time on his career in 2014 with one World Cup, two Champions Leagues, three Serie A titles and three Coppa Italias to his name - what a player!

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