Alessandro Costacurta remembers his 15 minutes of facing a 16-year-old Lionel Messi

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Alessandro Costacurta is one of the greatest defenders football has ever seen.

The Italian played more than 650 times for AC Milan and represented his country on 59 occasions.

However, he still remembers the first time he faced a young Lionel Messi.

Messi was just 16-years-old when he came up against Costacurta.

But if you thought the legendary defender could use all of his experience to deal with a teenager, you’d be very much mistaken.

In fact, Costacurta is still having nightmares of when he came up against a 16-year-old Messi.

"I faced Messi when he was only 16 years old. At first, I saw him as a child and did what he wanted,” Costacurta told Marca.

“After a quarter of an hour I had to ask Ancelotti to replace me.”

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Brilliant.

If Messi fans didn’t love Costacurta enough for those comments, he went even further and insisted that Barcelona star was better than compatriot Diego Maradona.

"They are similar because of their genius and the way they express themselves on the field, but Messi is more genius than Maradona,” Costacurta, who played against Maradona on numerous occasions, said.

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“The difference is that we could do 66 fouls to Maradona before being warned. With Leo it is different, football is now something else.”

Messi is better than Maradona - words from a defender who has played against both…

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