FC Barcelona News

'I tried to kick him but I couldn't' - Belletti on marking Messi for the first time

Arjun Singh Devgan
Messi has established himself as the greatest player in the sport
Messi has established himself as the greatest player in the sport / Luis Bagu/GettyImages

Former Barcelona and Chelsea right-back, Juliano Belletti has hailed Argentina icon, Lionel Messi, stating that the striker was already so good as a teenager that he couldn't even land a kick on him during training.

Belletti played for Barcelona between 2004 to 2007 and on arrival at the Nou Camp he was in his prime while Messi at the time was just starting to receive invites to train with the senior squad. The Brazilian for his part opened up on the first time he shared a pitch with the a player who would go on to become arguably the greatest player in the history of the sport.

"When I first trained against Messi, I had never heard of him. [Andres] Iniesta came and asked me if I knew who Messi was and Iniesta warned me to be careful because he is good. He said 'be careful' to me during the best time of my career. I was in my prime! But when he received the ball in training, he didn't care who he was playing against. It just happened to be me that time," he told Goal.

"The one-v-one, when I was even thinking about trying to tackle him, I found he had already beaten me. It was simply like that... I tried to kick him but I couldn't. I couldn't get him. It was definitely not a normal situation to see a player that good come from the academy and go straight into our team," the 45-year-old added.

Belletti left for Chelsea in 2007, but he left the club after achieving legendary status after netting the winner in the 2006 Champions League final against Arsenal to help the Catalan giants win their first European honour since 1992.