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Lionel Messi is a ‘really crazy player,’ says Napoli’s Diego Demme

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The two teams will meet again next month

SSC Napoli v FC Barcelona - UEFA Champions League Round of 16: First Leg Photo by Pedro Salado/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Napoli midfielder Diego Demme has been talking about playing against Lionel Messi and how it was far harder to get the ball off the Barcelona captain than he’d expected.

The two teams played out a 1-1 draw at the Stadio San Paolo in February in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie.

Demme explained what it was like to face the 33-year-old in the tie in Italy.

“Messi is a really crazy player. It’s amazing what he does with the ball. Before I had only seen him on TV and I thought: ‘It can’t be that difficult to take the ball from him,’” he said.

“In the game itself, I was sure in two or three situations that I had the ball. And then whack, he made such fast movements that I ran into nothing!”

Source | Bild

Napoli will travel to Barcelona for the second leg of the tie on August 8. Demme also offered his thoughts on the return leg and reckons “the odds are 50-50, even without spectators.”