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Milner reveals Messi's response to payback tackle

Milner reveals Messi's foul-mouthed response to 'payback' tackle in UCL semi final

May 26, 2019 By Emmanuel K. Budu-Annor
The Barcelona skipper did not take the incident lightly despite Barcelona finishing with a 3-0 win.

Liverpool midfielder James Milner has revealed the angry message he received from Barcelona's Lionel Messi when the pair clashed in the first leg of the Champions League semi-final. The latter's reaction was provoked by Englishman rough tackle which sent him to the ground during the first half of the encounter.

The barrage of insult was apparently released after Milner barged into the Argentina striker who appeared to be on his way down following an initial contact with Andy Robertson. With the Reds midfielder escaping a booking despite the insistence of Messi, the Barca No.10 could not hold back his dissatisfaction.

According to the five-time Ballon d'Or winner, Milner's action was deliberate. He believes that it was a retaliation to the humiliation the former Manchester City midfielder suffered against him when they met in 2015.

The incident Messi made reference to was the one in which he skillfully nutmegged the current Liverpool assistant captain before his side run off with a 1-0 win at Camp Nou in a Round of 16 tie.

"He wasn't happy," Milner told the Daily Mail.

"He was giving me plenty in Spanish going down the tunnel at half-time as well. He was calling me 'burro'.

"It translates as donkey but I think it's also used in Spanish football as a general term for someone who goes around kicking people.

"I asked him if he was all right, but he wasn't having it. I don't think he realised I understood his Spanish.

"He said: 'That foul you did, that's because I nutmegged you'. I left him to it at that point and went into the changing room.

"Look, I've only got admiration for him. He has earned the right to say what he wants.

James Milner further explained that it was never his intention to hurt Messi.

"The stuff he did in that game, stuff he has done his whole career, it makes him tough to play against," Milner added.

"If you try and stop him, you can't be scared of being made to look foolish. I've done it. "I've been nutmegged by him and it has been viewed a million times. I wasn't the first and I won't be the last. He's an incredible player.

"But with players like that, you have to let them know you're there and not let them have everything their own way. You just need to try to disrupt their rhythm.

"You don't want to hurt him but it's a physical game and, if he's running the game, you try and knock him out of his stride. It's part of the game, the mental side."



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