Newcastle United defender Kieran Trippier had his share of run-ins with Lionel Messi during his three seasons at Atletico Madrid.
“You can’t stop Messi, to be fair,” Trippier said. “It’s funny because obviously, Simeone was the coach and both are Argentines. Even he would say before meetings, ‘basically ‘pray’ You just can’t do anything. You cannot organize or prepare to stop it because it is that unique.”
The veteran defender was part of the Atletico Madrid team that bested Messi and his Barcelona team during the 2020-21 season when Simeone’s squad won La Liga, breaking up the cycle of dominance by the Catalan side and Real Madrid.
Despite his age, the Paris Saint-Germain star is proving this 2022-23 season that he isn’t slowing down. After a challenging first season in the French capital, Messi bounced back, showing that his decline has yet to start.
The Argentine is coming off winning the 2022 FIFA World Cup and will now focus on helping the Ligue 1 giants win the UEFA Champions League, which would solidify his Ballon d’Or candidacy in 2023.