The Scottish defender has opened up on the challenges of trying to mark the Argentine attacker
Liverpool left-back Andy Robertson admits even kicking Lionel Messi isn’t enough to stop the Barcelona star.
Robertson, who enjoyed mixed success trying to subdue the Argentine in the Champions League 18 months ago, was one of few people that weren’t excited at the prospect of Messi moving to the Premier League.
The 32-year-old was hoping to depart Camp Nou and was linked with Manchester City but has opted to stay put to avoid any legal battle with his beloved club, who weren’t going to let him leave for free.
We know that result has disappointed some football fans, Robertson has breathed a sigh of relief and concedes trying to stop Messi is a near impossible task.
“I wasn’t excited by it [the transfer speculation] at all. Messi would have taken City to a new level,” Robertson told The Times.
“They are already world class but to get the best player in the world…when you play against Messi you have to second-guess him because you don’t know if he’s going left, going right. Mentally, it’s tiring, never mind physically.
“People sometimes think the only way to stop Messi is to kick him. But he bounces back up and it’s ‘give me the ball again’.
“An incredible player. Once he hangs up the boots, people will see his legacy and he’ll be up there with Diego Maradona and Pele as the best players ever.”
Liverpool boast a superstar of their own in Mohamed Salah, who scored a hat-trick in the Reds first Premier League game of the season against Leeds United.
Robertson believes the Egyptian attacker is out to answer any lingering critics this season after some questioned his performances over the past year.
“Last season, with the numbers Mo produced, 19 Premier League goals, it was strange people were talking about Mo negatively,” Robertson said.
“The first game this season he’s thought, ‘Ok, I’ll show you.’ He wants his trophy [the Golden Boot] back. But forget about his goals the other day, his all-round performance was unbelievable.
“He looked determined, strong, his passing was crisp. Mo looked phenomenal.”
Liverpool next face Chelsea on Sunday with both teams winning their first game of the season last week.