Brazil left-back Filipe Luis claims he has studied Barcelona talisman Lionel Messi during his playing days at Atletico Madrid. Messi has netted 24 goals against Atletico Madrid in all competitions as he is one of the worst nightmares for the La Liga giants. Also Read – Lionel Messi Set to Break Record For Most LaLiga Appearances For Barcelona in Game Against Cadiz
Luis, who currently played for Flamengo in Serie A, said that Messi was the best player he has seen play during his time in La Liga. Also Read – Manchester City Reject Report Claiming They Have Made Offer to Lionel Messi
“One day I would like to ask Messi what it felt like playing against me. I approached it as the most important game in my life against him because he was the best player I have seen play,” told the Daily Mail. Also Read – Barcelona vs Paris Saint-Germain: ‘Better Release Messi’ – Twitter Buzzing After Barca Crushed at Camp Nou
The 35-year-old said that Messi improvises a lot and watches the defenders” movement to plan his next move.
“Messi had a thing – and I studied him a lot – that was very important. He improvises. He doesn’t have the dribble in his mind before the ball gets to him. He watches the defender’s movement and depending on your body position, he goes one way or the other. So first I tried not to let him receive the ball,” he said.
Luis further claims that Messi doesn’t go down looking for foul and it’s impossible to face him one on one when he receives the ball facing the player.
“When he received with his back to me, there would be a hard challenge and because he’s so strong, so resistant, because he doesn’t go down looking for fouls, the foul is not given away.
“If he receives the ball facing you, one on one, it’s impossible because of that improvisation he has. You can’t plan for it, because he is watching you and can change. I would fake to make one challenge, one side, to try to make him go the other way, where I really wanted him.
Luis recalled how he went too far against Messi a couple of times in terms of aggression which resulted in sent-off. However, he claims Messi never said anything to him for the aggressive play.
“There were games where I went too far in terms of aggression. I was sent off, but he never had a go at me for it; he never said anything. I think he liked it, I think he liked that kind of challenge.
“In fact, Barcelona called me [towards the end of his time at Atletico] so I think he must have liked my football. I’d like to know his opinion one day. My best games were always against Messi, for sure,” Luis said.
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