Messi, the terrible: this is how the Asturians who had him in front see him

“With Cristiano, for example, if you were in a good physical moment, you could hold out for a race. You could cope with it. With Messi, no. Always find a solution. Those first 3 or 4 meters are unbeatable. He is the toughest rival I have faced ”, highlights Paredes, who suffered in Getafe and Zaragoza. Luis Garcia, who lived tense derbies with the Espanyol shirt, sums up the feelings of any Argentine rival: “How to stop him? Have a bad day. ” Nacho Cases, who faced him with Sporting, sums up: “He is the best of humans.”

Messi, the terrible: feared and admired

But what makes him the best footballer on earth? “He has an unusual talent. The physique can be worked, but the talent is impossible. As much as you analyzed it, it was impossible to stop him if he had the day. A minute was enough for him to decide a game “, he defends Esteban, rival in Almería. “What most caught my attention was the speed of execution of the actions,” Luis García intervenes. “I was trying to cover him in the best way, but it was very difficult to stop him. It is a privilege to have played against the best in history, “he says. Alex Menendez, whom he faced with the red and white shirt.

Messi stepped on Asturias five times to face Sporting. He achieved five wins at El Molinón and scored 4 goals. Now that his departure from Barça is a fact, any detail becomes a trophy. Like his sheepskin. Boris It is one of those that keeps a shirt of the Argentine. He exchanged it at a Barça 5- Numancia 0 from 2005. “One day I put a photo of my son with the shirt on my WhatsApp profile. A friend of Luanco wrote me telling me that he paid whatever it was for her. But I refused: it is a special memory ”, he indicates.


A different trophy is the one that has Sergio Sanchez, Sporting exporter, to whom Messi scored two goals: a couple of bottles of beer from a well-known international brand, personalized for all the goalkeepers who received a goal from the Argentine. Sanchez’s were the 44th and 45th goals. “We are experiencing the emergence of Barça under Guardiola and Messi,” he recalls. “In those first moments, everything that was later seemed to be glimpsed,” he remarks.

“Very competitive”. That appearance of a cold footballer, oblivious to what happens on the field until the ball reaches his feet, disappears when you have it a couple of meters away. Paredes never managed to get him out of the game: “I saw him as excessively concentrated. I tried many times to get him out of his boxes, saying things to him, giving him a little, but nothing. Other rivals answer you or laugh, but Messi kept looking at me with the face of ‘you’ll see what I’m going to roll when the ball comes to me.’

Lionel Messi shakes hands with Ronal Koeman. REUTERS

Luis García agrees. “It is very competitive. Those derbies with Espanyol were high-voltage, with a lot of pique. I am hot, so once I said things to him, of course, “says the former striker who remembers an anecdote:” Once I ran into him in the Corte Inglés cafeteria. He greeted me from afar because a multitude of people were coming behind him ”.

Nacho Cases puts the culmination: “Although we put a punch in him, he never made a bad gesture or a bad face, he always kept playing. He was aware of our trajectory and our objectives. He told us that we were going to save ourselves, and that’s how it was ”.




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