- Lionel Messi has been rated highly by Italy's legendary defender Alessandro Costacurta
- The veteran defender claims he forced to be substituted after his 15 minutes encounter with Messi
- Costacurta also went on to say Messi was a better player than the legendary Diego Maradona
Lionel Messi has dazzled many defenders in his illustrious career and Italy legend Alessandro Costacurta has shared his 15-minute experience with the Barcelona superstar.
The former AC Milan defender recalls when he could not cope when the Argentine star was 16-years-old.
Messi who was starting to break into Barcelona's first-team squad was too good for the veteran Italian defender to handle as Costacuta asked his coach Carlo Ancelotti to substitute him after 15 minutes.
He told Marca: "I faced Messi when he was only 16 years old. At first I saw him as a child and did what he wanted.
"After a quarter of an hour I had to ask Ancelotti to replace me."
Costacurta who won several league titles with the Rossoneri also made comparisons between legendary Diego Maradona and Messi, who he has both played against.
The Italian veteran claimed he witnessed Maradona's abilities first hand during his successful spell with Napoli.
And the 54-year-old believes Messi is a better player than Maradona and the Barcelona star is given more protection from referees.
Costacurta added: "They are similar because of their genius and the way they express themselves on the field, but Messi is more genius than Maradona.
"The difference is that we could do 66 fouls to Maradona before being warned. With Leo it is different, football is now something else."
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had earlier reported that the EFL will return to action on June 20, subject to all safety requirements and government guidelines being met.
And playoffs finals for the qualification into the Premier League will hold on July 30, to validate teams gaining promotion and getting dropped into the lower division.
Teams will be using a maximum of five substitutes in their remaining matches and matchday squad has been increased to 20 from 18.
Legit.ng also reported that Eden Hazard could be on his way out of Real Madrid after just one season as Los Blancos are looking to make a sensational swap deal for Kylian Mbappe, reports claim.
According to Spanish news media outlet Diario Gol, the former Chelsea star who has endured an injury-plagued season is set to be put on the line for Paris Saint-Germain star Mbappe.
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