Barcelona beat Girona 3-0 away from home in the first official match between these two teams in almost 70 years(!), but what caught most people’s attention and interest was the way the hosts chose to face Lionel Messi.
The Argentine super star had a rather quiet night, being man-marked the whole 90 minutes by Pablo Maffeo, a 20-year-old who plays for Girona on loan from Manchester City.
He was very humble. We were talking because I was stuck to him the whole match. There were no bad feelings or anything funny. He’s the best player in the world and if you don’t stick to him, he can score at any moment
the youngster told reporters after the match, during which he did a great job minimizing Messi’s impact, despite the fact that he received a yellow card rather early.
I had to be with him and to stop him touching the ball. It’s difficult, not just in terms of the football, but psychologically. I am grateful for the confidence the coach showed in me
Maffeo said. As for the ‘small talk’ he had with Messi, he revealed a couple of details.
He asked me a couple of things: if I was on loan from Man City and how old I was
the 20-year-old full-back said.