Rio Ferdinand has recalled telling his teammates he felt ’embarrassed’ by Lionel Messi after the 2011 Champions League final.
Barcelona ripped Manchester United apart at Wembley, winning 3-1 to lift their fourth European Cup.
Pedro opened the scoring that night before Messi added a second and David Villa rounded off a comfortable victory.
But, unsurprisingly, it was the little Argentine that stood out – and Ferdinand has opened up about what he said to his teammates as the Spanish giants lifted the trophy.
“Barca gave us an absolute lesson at Wembley,” he told Copa90, per the Daily Mail.
“I was standing there watching them lift the trophy and me, Giggsy and Scholesy were standing together with our hands over our mouths and I said: ‘I feel embarrassed lads.’
“He [Messi] took liberties.”
It seems the Man United legend still hasn’t forgotten that night at Wembley and he also went on to name Messi as the best player he’s ever faced.
“Messi was a killer. Ronaldinho was unreal, the free-flowing magician.
“But with Messi, he’d do all of that but there was always a goal or an assist at the end of it.”
It’s hard to disagree with that.
Ferdinand was probably sick of the sight of Messi, who subjected Man Utd to two Champions League final defeats in three years – first in 2009, then again in 2011.
But while those nights won’t be fondly remembered by United players and fans, the rest of us were able to marvel at Messi in his prime.
From that incredible header in 2009 to the long-range daisy-cutter 24 months later, the Argentine stepped up when it mattered most to secure European glory.
No wonder Ferdinand and his teammates felt red-faced after that.
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