Liverpool centre-back Joel Matip has revealed his awkward encounter with Barcelona forward Lionel Messi last season.
Liverpool faced Barcelona in the semi-final stage of the Champions League last season. The first leg saw the Spanish giants defeat the Reds 3-0 at the Nou Camp.
Come the second leg at Anfield, the Reds pulled off a miracle, which saw them claim a 4-0 victory to progress to the Champions League final.
After the game, Matip was required to undergo a random doping test. Messi was also required to undergo the exact same test, which was quite an awkward experience for Matip.
“After the game, we lined up arm-in-arm in front of the Kop together and sang ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ with the fans,” Matip told 11Freunde.
“That was one of the most beautiful moments of my career, maybe on the same level as my debut for Schalke in Munich.
“I didn’t care about anything; I was floating on air after singing with the fans.
“And when I came into the doping test room, there was a guy sitting there pretty depressed – Lionel Messi.
“You know each other from the pitch, but it’s not like you sit around with them every day in a small room like you’re getting coffee.
“Everyone is celebrating, and I’m sitting in a cubicle with Messi.”
Messi is a true gentleman of the game, which means many Liverpool supporters may have felt some remorse for him after the match.
Matip was quite unlucky that he was selected for the test on that particular night. However, he certainly would not have allowed that moment with Messi to ruin his night.
Freelance sports journalist and Red from Melbourne. Currently an editor at Anfield Watch.