Aston Villa Star Recalls Challenges of Defending Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe During 2022 World Cup

Aston Villa and Poland defender Matty Cash revealed what it was like to come up against Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi while at the 2022 FIFA World Cup with Poland.

Cash and Poland didn’t have a good time taking on the two Paris Saint-Germain stars, as the nation would lose both contests and crash out in the Round of 16 stage. 

The 25-year-old came up against Messi in the group stage in a 2-0 defeat to Argentina on matchday three, but the 25-year-old feels his torrid time with Mbappe in the last 16 – which ended in a 3-1 defeat – was the more difficult of experiences.

“A few days leading up to the France game, we watched videos of [Mbappe] and he was lightning,” Cash told LadBible“[On] the day of the game, I just sat in my room and watched clips of him. How am I going to stop him? And we had a good battle, I think. One vs. one, I think there were a few times he got around me and then a few where I won it off him. 

“Messi was the other side of the pitch so I’d say Mbappe [was the harder challenge]. I think Messi’s quality speaks for itself. His way to pass, the way he controls the ball. But I think for me, Mbappe was the hardest test.”

Mbappe and Messi eventually found themselves on a collision course to the World Cup final, where both put on a show for the ages. Messi scored a brace; meanwhile, Mbappe recorded a hat-trick, nearly dragging France to a win. 

However, Messi and Co. came out with the win in penalty kicks, allowing the 35-year-old to lift the trophy that had long eluded him. 

Tags Kylian Mbappé Lionel Messi Matty Cash
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