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Alessandro Nesta recalls how he was ‘mentally destroyed’ by Lionel Messi

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‘In the 10th minute I kicked him and fell to the ground exhausted’

Barcelona’s Argentinian forward Lionel M Photo credit should read OLIVIER MORIN/AFP via Getty Images

Legendary Italian defender Alessandro Nesta has been talking about facing Lionel Messi and how he was “mentally destroyed” by the Barcelona star when the two teams clashed in the Champions League.

Nesta won pretty much everything going during a phenomenal career in Serie A and was part of the Italy squad that lifted the 2006 World Cup. The defender came up against Messi towards the end of his career and admitted it was tough going.

“The thing that made me depressed is that he had left ten times in ten minutes and I was starting to struggle at 37,” he said.

“In the 10th minute I kicked him and fell to the ground exhausted, I could see the stars. He was already giving me his hand to pull me up. There he mentally destroyed me.

“Do you understand? I was on the ground and when after two seconds I open eyes I see his face with his hand in front that he wanted to help me get up. He mentally destroyed me there.”

Source | Calciatori Brutti (via ITASportPress)

Messi scored twice in the game as Barcelona ran out 3-1 winners back in 2012 to seal a quarter-final win over the Rossoneri.