Newcastle United defender Kieran Trippier has named Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) superstar Lionel Messi as the toughest player he has played against.
Lionel Messi is arguably one of the best footballers of all time, having won seven Ballon d'Or awards. He also got his hands on one trophy that evaded him for most of his career by leading Argentina to FIFA World Cup glory in Qatar last month.
Many believe the Argentinean put his rivalry with Cristiano Ronaldo to bed by winning the World Cup. The majority of football fans are convinced that he is indeed the greatest of all time.
Trippier has now vouched for Messi, admitting that the PSG talisman is the best player he has faced in his career. The Newcastle right-back pointed out how difficult it is to dispossess the forward as a defender. He told GOAL:
"The best player that I played against is Messi, of course. He's a magician on the pitch, you just can't get the ball off him."
It is worth noting that Trippier plied his trade at La Liga club Atletico Madrid before joining Newcastle. The England international was on Los Rojiblancos' books for two-and-a-half years between 2019 and 2022.
The 32-year-old came up against Lionel Messi, who was then with Barcelona, on four occasions while playing for Atletico Madrid. He helped Diego Simeone's side keep clean sheets twice, while the Argentinean grabbed a goal each in the other two matches.
Trippier also faced Messi once with Tottenham Hotspur in the UEFA Champions League group stages in 2018. The former Blaugrana superstar found the back of the net twice on that occasion.
Lionel Messi eyeing Champions League glory with PSG
Lionel Messi notably put an end to his 21-year-long association with Barcelona in the summer of 2021. He joined PSG on a free transfer and put pen to paper on a two-year deal with them.
The 35-year-old helped Les Parisiens win Ligue 1 in his first season with them, netting six goals and providing 15 assists from 26 games. He will now be determined to achieve even more success with the French giants this term.
Messi has found the back of the net 13 times and registered 14 assists from 21 appearances across all competitions for PSG this term. The Champions League is one trophy that he will be hopeful of winning with the Parc des Princes outfit.
The Parisians are scheduled to face Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich in the Champions League Round of 16 over the next two months. It remains to be seen if they can progress into the quarter-finals of the competition.