Good luck stopping Lionel Messi.
Plenty have tried but only a few have been able to walk away after a 90-minute encounter and say: ‘I won the battle against Messi.’
His high-profile encounters against Real Madrid have featured some iconic duels against the likes of Sergio Ramos and Marcelo.
They were both helpless to prevent the Argentina star netting a hat-trick in 2014 as Barcelona won a thrilling El Clasico at the Bernabeu.
And there was another player who struggled to stop Messi on that day: Xabi Alonso.
The Spanish midfielder spent five seasons at Real Madrid, so he faced Messi on numerous occasions.
And a new video shows that Alonso never had the answers to stopping Messi.
The amount of times Messi danced past Alonso was quite remarkable. At times it looked like a young boy trying to stop the older kid at school.
In 2017, the Spanish World Cup winner admitted Messi was often the subject of Real Madrid’s team discussions.
“Messi did me a lot of damage, I suffered a lot," Alonso told Ecos del Ballon, per ESPN. "He made us squeeze our heads a lot.
“We spoke a lot with Mourinho and with Sergio [Ramos]. How was he damaging us? How could we control him?
“Messi was playing, and behind him on the right of midfield was Xavi. And they provoked me.
“Xavi would show me the ball, I would go, Messi would get in behind me and Sergio would have to come out to cover him, and they cut through us.”
Alonso’s departure in 2014 meant he no longer had to deal with Messi. He must have been delighted with that.
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