Premier League: Newcastle United Star Explains Why Lionel Messi Was Most Toughest to Defend

Newcastle United’s Kieran Trippier spent two and a half seasons at Atletico Madrid, and during that time, the 32-year-old faced off against Lionel Messi and FC Barcelona.

It was partaking in those clashes against the Catalan side is where Trippier had a suitable dosage of how it is to play against Messi. As a result, Trippier calls the 35-year-old the most challenging player he’s played against in his career.

“The best player that I played against is Messi, of course,” he explained on the latest episode of Simply The Best: “He’s a magician on the pitch, you just can’t get the ball off him.”

Trippier isn’t the only defender to recently say that Messi is the problematic player to stop. Another Atletico Madrid back liner, Diego Godin, was asked who was tougher to defend between Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi.

“For me, it is more difficult to mark Messi,” Godín said. “We are contemporaries. All my time in Europe I had the bad luck of coinciding with both of them. They took several titles from us at Atlético de Madrid. Without Messi at Barcelona or Cristiano at Real Madrid we would have some League safer and maybe some Champions League. We managed to compete with the generation of these monsters.”

Messi entered the GOAT status after winning the 2022 FIFA World Cup. However, the Argentine had one missing trophy in his cabinet that kept him from reaching and taking that label. 

Now players such as Godin and Trippier reflect on the challenges Messi brought and have a sense of pride knowing they had the task of stopping the GOAT. 

Tags Kieran Trippier Lionel Messi Newcastle United
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