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29th Sep 2021

Rio Ferdinand lost the run of himself after Lionel Messi lay down behind PSG’s wall

Callum Boyle


“If I was in that team, I’d have to say, ‘Listen, I’ll lay down for you.”

Rio Ferdinand has criticised Mauricio Pochettino for instructing Lionel Messi to lay behind the Paris Saint-Germain wall when defending a free-kick in their win over Manchester City on Tuesday night.

Messi, who had announced himself in fine fashion by scoring his first goal for the club in a 2-0 victory, was instructed to lay flat to deny City from attempting a low shot on goal.

For most people this probably isn’t that big of a deal, however Ferdinand seemed less than impressed with Pochettino’s decision to tell the star-man to lay on the floor, suggesting it was “disrespectful.”

In a passionate monologue on BT Sport, Ferdinand exclaimed:

“The moment Mauricio Pochettino asked him to do that at the training ground, someone should’ve gone in there and said, ‘No, no, no, no, no, no.’

“This doesn’t happen to Leo Messi.”

“No, no, no, no. You can’t,” Ferdinand added.

“It’s disrespectful, I wouldn’t have it.

“If I was in that team, I’d have to say, ‘Listen, I’ll lay down for you.’

“Sorry, 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.”

Messi wasn’t the only member of the PSG squad to take up this act – but they’re not as important as Messi apparently. Kylian Mbappe was also seen acting as a ‘draft excluder’ on the floor for a free-kick earlier in the game.

The Argentinian’s night won’t be remembered for his defensive duties however, with his stunning curling shot from outside the box the highlight of the night, even causing Pochettino to get excited.

“Usually I don’t celebrate goals, but today I did,” he said.

“I’ve spent 20 years watching him score goals from the other side of the opposite pavement and it’s the first time he scores for a team I manage so I had to celebrate.”

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