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‘That’s not what Leo Messi does’: Rio Ferdinand was shocked to see PSG star behind the wall


‘It’s not what Leo Messi does… it’s disrespectful’: BT pundits shocked to see PSG superstar given the role of getting behind the wall as Rio Ferdinand jokes that ‘he doesn’t get his equipment dirty ‘

  • Lionel Messi scored his first PSG goal when they beat Manchester City in Paris
  • City got a free kick in a dangerous position in the final phase
  • Lionel Messi got behind the wall as Riyad Mahrez stepped forward to take a free kick
  • But Rio Ferdinand and Owen Hargreaves were amazed he had to do it

Rio Ferdinand and Owen Hargreaves couldn’t believe their eyes when they saw Lionel Messi lying behind the PSG wall to prevent free kick taker Riyad Mahrez from going under.

Messi finally got off the ground when PSG defeated Manchester City 2-0 in Paris on Tuesday night, with the Argentine doubling the lead with a brilliant attack in the second half after a nice one-two with Kylian Mbappe.

However, eyebrows were raised following a moment that took place in the final phase of the group A match at the Parc des Princes.

Lionel Messi went behind the wall to prevent Riyad Mahrez from going under

Owen Hargreaves said he couldn't believe it

Rio Ferdinand said he wouldn't let it happen

Owen Hargreaves and Rio Ferdinand couldn’t believe Messi would have such duties

City were awarded a free kick just outside the penalty area and it was six-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi of all people who got himself dirty on the ground behind the wall as Mahrez prepared to take it.

“We couldn’t believe it,” said BT Sport pundit Hargreaves. “He is one of the greatest of all time, if not the greatest. ‘

Ferdinand then took over, saying: “The moment Mauricio Pochettino asked him to do that on the training ground, someone should have gone in there and said: ‘no, no, no, no, this won’t happen to Leo Messi’ .

‘That is not possible. It’s disrespectful, I wouldn’t have it. If I was on that team I’d say “no, I’m going to lie in front of you”.

‘I couldn’t leave him like that. I can not see it. He doesn’t get his equipment dirty. That’s not what Messi does.’

But BT Sport’s experts were impressed by the former Barcelona star’s opening goal for his new club.

“The pace, the power, the balance and the technique to get it where it did it… phenomenal,” the former Manchester United defender told BT Sport as he re-watched PSG’s second.

Hakimi’s run is so important because it takes the defender away. When you have players like Hakimi who wreak such havoc, there is room for someone like Messi to exploit.”

Owen Hargreaves added: “There was so much fun about this goal. I like the overlap of Hakimi there, making the space. It’s all Messi.

“He expected it, he’s the man for the big occasion. He always seems to score against Pep Guardiola teams for whatever reason.

“Today was the perfect performance from PSG. Once they score the first goal and the space opens up for Hakimi, with Messi coming in and then Neymar and Mbappe there – it becomes a thing of beauty.

“Today they have done well and with Messi at the end of the matter he will score a ton there.”



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