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L. Messi

Gvardiol explains why facing PSG star Lionel Messi is harder when he's playing for Argentina

14:08 EAT 08/01/2023
Messi Gvardiol Argentina Croatia World Cup Qatar 2022
Josko Gvardiol has explained why facing PSG star Lionel Messi is harder when he's playing for Argentina.
  • Josko Gvardiol impressed at World Cup
  • Croatia defender faced Lionel Messi
  • Argentina defeated Croatia in semi-final

WHAT HAPPENED? Messi got the better of Gvardiol as Argentina defeated Croatia to reach the World Cup final and the defender has revealed facing the superstar for his country is an altogether different challenge compared to when he is playing his club football for PSG.

WHAT THEY SAID: As reported by BILD, Gvardiol revealed: “It was harder to defend against him than it was in our game against Paris. It's completely different - he has a completely different profile in the club than in the national team.

"Why? I think he was very motivated, it was his last chance to get something. For me, he's the best player I've had to defend against so far. He's small and all you can do is foul or tackle him.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: RB Leipzig defender Gvardiol impressed in Qatar leading to the 20-year-old being linked with Real Madrid and Chelsea. While Messi did best him in the semi-finals, the centre-back has a huge future in the game and it seems it is only a matter of time before he joins one of Europe's elite clubs.

IN THREE PHOTOS:

WHAT NEXT FOR JOSKO GVARDIOL AND LIONEL MESSI? RB Leipzig return to Bundesliga action on January 20 when they host Bayern Munich. Messi, meanwhile, has returned to PSG and the Ligue 1 champions face Angers on January 11.