I kicked him so hard but couldn’t stop him – Sammy Koffour on facing Messi

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I kicked him so hard but couldn't stop him - Sammy Koffour on facing Messi

Ghanaian football icon Samuel Kuffour recently shared vivid memories of his first encounter with Lionel Messi during a pre-season match between Bayern Munich and Barcelona in 2005. Kuffour, a stalwart of Bayern’s defense from 1993 to 2005, recounted how marking Messi in that game turned into a daunting task, validating a stern warning he received from teammate Samuel Eto’o before the match.

Eto’o, who had previously played alongside Messi at Barcelona, had cautioned Kuffour about Messi’s exceptional talent, predicting that he would eventually become the world’s best player and would “kill everyone” on the pitch. Kuffour’s recollections of the encounter suggest that Eto’o’s warning was an accurate foreshadowing of Messi’s prowess.

Reflecting on the pre-season clash, Kuffour recounted, “It was a final against Barcelona in pre-season, and I had to play against Messi. He dribbled past Bixente Lizarazu like 3,000 times.” The visual spectacle of Messi’s mesmerizing dribbling left a lasting impression on Kuffour.

Prior to the game, Kuffour had engaged in a conversation with Eto’o, during which the Cameroonian striker provided a forewarning about Messi’s extraordinary skills. “Before the game, I was talking to Samuel (Eto’o), and he told me, ‘Messi will kill everyone. Watch him out; he will become the best player in the world.'”

As the match unfolded, Kuffour found himself facing the daunting task of trying to contain Messi. The Argentine prodigy showcased his trademark body swerve move, leaving seasoned defenders in his wake. Despite resorting to a forceful tackle in an attempt to stop Messi, the young maestro quickly recovered, showcasing resilience and skill beyond his years.

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In recounting the encounter, Kuffour admitted, “Look, he dribbled everyone, and when he got to me, he did his famous body swerve thing. I kicked him so hard, and surprisingly, he got up quickly and moved with the ball.”

Kuffour’s reminiscence of facing Messi provides a firsthand account of the early stages of the Argentine’s rise to football stardom. Even in those formative years, Messi’s ability to outclass experienced defenders was evident, leaving an indelible mark on the memories of one of Africa’s football legends. The encounter underscores Messi’s extraordinary talent and serves as a testament to his eventual ascent to become one of the greatest footballers in history.

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