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Kevin Kilbane on marking Messi: How he tricks defenders...

Kevin Kilbane joined OTB AM this morning, to revisit the very first football match at the Aviva S...



Soccer

Kevin Kilbane on marking Messi: How he tricks defenders...

Kevin Kilbane joined OTB AM this morning, to revisit the very first football match at the Aviva Stadium, as he went toe-to-toe with Lionel Messi.

The 110-cap Irish international told us that while he believes the Barcelona star was firmly in first or second gear during the international friendly match, seeing the generational-talent up close he quickly understood why he's been so hard for defenders to handle.

"On just those couple of occasions, [it was] just that little bit of movement, the step onto his right foot and check back in onto his left foot. All the time he's coming infield, into bodies. It was how quickly he could check back across you as well. You could not stop him."

messi 11 August 2010; Lionel Messi, Argentina. International Friendly, Republic of Ireland v Argentina, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE

Kilbane offered this further detail on Messi's movement:

"It is that close control and the pace that he's moving with the ball at speed. When he's going at players, players can't turn and adjust, he's able to turn and adjust and check with both his left and right foot at that pace.

"Players can't adjust to it. That's why you can see him gliding past players when he goes on the inside on to his left and immediately back out on to his right. A defender up against him can't adjust their feet quickly enough."

Messi 11 August 2010; Lionel Messi, Argentina, prepares to takes a corner. International Friendly, Republic of Ireland v Argentina, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

He added that the Argentine star's movement can be deceptive:

"When you are watching footage of Messi from up above, he isn't naturally that quick. You can see that, but his pace with and without the ball seems to be the same."

Both Kilbane and Messi started the match and were taken off by their managers on the hour-mark.

11 August 2010; Lionel Messi, Argentina, in action against Kevin Kilbane, Republic of Ireland. International Friendly, Republic of Ireland v Argentina, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE

Ultimately, Ireland were undone by a strike by Di Maria in the 20th minute of the clash, and suffered a 1-0 loss.

The match is also notable for marking Robbie Keane's 100th Irish cap.

Aviva Ireland has been a proud sponsor of the Aviva Stadium for 10 years. Since 2010, over 7.2 million fans from around the world have attended matches at the Aviva Stadium. We’re encouraging fans to tell us your favourite moments from the iconic venue by following Aviva Ireland on Instagram and Twitter and sharing them using #SafeToDream

 

 

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