Former Man Utd player turned pundit Rio Ferdinand couldn’t believe what Lionel Messi did against Man City as PSG strolled to a 2-0 win.
Rio and his fellow colleague Owen Hargreaves were left shocked when they saw the former Barcelona star lying down behind the Paris Saint-Germain wall to stop free-kick taker Riyad Mahrez going under it.
Messi finally got off the mark as the Ligue 1 giants beat Manchester City 2-0 in Paris on Tuesday night, with the Argentine doubling the lead with a brilliant strike in the second half after a lovely one-two with Kylian Mbappe.
“You can’t! It’s disrespectful!”
“If I was in that team I’d say listen, nah, nah, nah, I’ll lay down for you!”
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) September 28, 2021
However, eyebrows were raised in reaction to a moment that took place in the closing stages of the Group A fixture at the Parc des Princes.
City were handed a free-kick just outside the area and it was six-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi of all people who decided to get himself on the ground behind the wall as Mahrez prepared to take it.
‘We couldn’t believe it,’ said BT Sport pundit Hargreaves. ‘He’s 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 at the training ground someone should have gone in there and said “no, no, no, no, this doesn’t happen to Leo Messi”.
‘You can’t. It’s disrespectful, I wouldn’t have it. If I was in that team I’d say “no, I’ll lay down for you”.
‘I couldn’t have him laying down like that. I can’t see it. He don’t get his kit dirty. That’s not what Messi does.’
The BT Sport pundits were then left in awe at the former Barcelona star’s opening goal for his new club.
‘The pace, the strength, the balance and the technique to put it where he did… phenomenal,’ the former Manchester United defender said on BT Sport as he re-watched PSG’s second.
‘Hakimi’s run is so important because it takes the defender away. When you’ve got players like Hakimi causing havoc like that it opens up the space for someone like Messi to exploit.’
Owen Hargreaves added: ‘There was so much to like about this goal. I love the overlap from Hakimi there, making the space. It’s Messi all over.
‘He would have been expecting 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 got the first goal and the space opened up for Hakimi, with Messi being able to come inside and then Neymar and Mbappe are in there – it’s going to be a thing of beauty.
‘Today they got it right and with Messi on the end of things, he’s going to score a tonne of goals there.’
Fans reacted as Rio Ferdinand couldn’t believe what Lionel Messi did against Man City…
@DylannnLFC: He may be the best player in the league doesn’t mean he doesn’t have to do the dirty work to help his team win
@asdukgaming: Football is a team game right so why should messi get treated differently to his team mates he is one of the greats but he is just a player like most players
@vyrus7: And kudos to him for not having an ego. He perfectly understands his role in the team. That’s what we need from a player.
@MufcUmar: Huh?? Its really not a big deal at all. I’m sure Messi has no problem with it so why does Rio 😭😭
@jaydbzz: All I see is a player that would do anything to help his team. If anything this is Messi showing respect to his team and his new fans
@Borolad12345: I’m sooooo glad I don’t have BT Sport
@aureolaboraleos: Its really not a big deal at all rio your just clutching at straws
@Chazzy_L: Ridiculous thing to say
@glm1st: It shows what type of a person he is. He knows as a player he can do that regardless of the fact that he is Messi. It is true it seems weird, but I think he doesn’t want people at PSG thinking he has a big ego as people pretend
@Vikkylong: Disrespectful or not he just want to win, it’s a team game
@AstonGrove7: Really don’t seem anything wrong with this, you wouldn’t have a tall player laying down and not in the wall? He may be a great player but doesn’t mean he can’t help the team and do the dirty work and defend too!
@sal_b2bg: It’s not disrespect. It was respectful of Messi to listen to the plans laid by the coach before the match. Also, he’s doing his defensive part for the team. Shows great level of humility and it shows his team-mates his commitment to help them. It’s a teaching moment. Shows young players like Mbappe and others watching to keep their feet on the ground no matter how great you become. Your former club, Man Utd, previously used image of Messi cleaning his boot to inspire their academy players. It’s called being humble.
@Scorpion_Lad_: A true football professional and lover of the game, with 0 ego and 1000% skills..i guess gestures like these makes him even bigger.. lovely from Messi
@jacobcthompson1: Not really disrespect. He’s short and wants to help the team so why not get him to do it?
@FootieRealist: That’s why you’re not a manager
@SanjaySwamy016: How is this disrespect? This is a “team game”, remember?
@Vinfayad: That’s the ego that prevented the England team to win anything during that what was called the golden generation
@dcollsy: He’s being paid nearly a million pound a week. You get asked to finger your boss, you finger your boss.
@markfrancis1968: What bollocks Shows Messi is the team player and will do anything for the team and more importantly the manager
@DaveMay2610: Here is the reason why ” The golden generation” failed during their time. The mindset of player entitlement over the whole team is why Rio and his teammates for England did not achieve what they were apparently capable of which was winning things. Messi is being a teamplayer