Watch: Manchester City loan starlet Pablo Maffeo tackles Lionel Messi
A video footage has surfaced online showing The performance of 20-year-old Girona right-back Pablo Maffeo, who tackling messi through out the 3-0 Barcelona win over the weekend.
Though Maffeo was successfully able to shackled the Argentine who had 11 goals in five games, Girona suffered a 3-0 home defeat by Barcelona at the weekend in La Liga.
The Spaniard, on loan for a third season with the club from Manchester City, was handed the task of man-marking Lionel Messi.
And Maffeo not only avoided being embarrassed by the Argentine playmaker, but in fact he emerged from the game with some credit.
A video has surfaced online of the Spain youth international keeping his more illustrious opponent on a tight leash and matching him for speed.
At one point he was awarded a yellow card for a cynical tug on Messi’s shirt, but he seemed to make a significant impression on the five-time Ballon d’Or winner as they embraced after the final whistle.
Maffeo revealed post-match that he didn’t even ask Messi for his shirt after the game, because of a promise to a friend.
He is quoted by The Express as saying: ‘A friend of mine wanted Ter Stegen’s shirt so I asked the goalkeeper. Messi is the best in the world, but friends come first.’
After scoring 11 times in his previous five, Maffeo succeeded where others had failed in keeping the Barca star quiet. He revealed all about his experience after the game.
Maffeo said: ‘He [Messi] asked me a couple of things, like if I was loaned by City and how old I was. It was all good.’
He added: ‘I had to mark him and I had to be close to him and not watch the ball,’ he said.
‘It is difficult, not just from a football perspective, but also psychologically.
‘I appreciate the trust the coach placed in me.’