Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Joel Matip Reveals Uncomfortable Meeting With Lionel Messi After Champions League Win


Joel Matip has explained the awkward moment he bumped into a 'depressed' Lionel Messi after Liverpool's famous comeback in the Champions League semi-final last year.

The Reds trailied 3-0 going into the second leg, after losing in Barcelona, and were hoping for one of their exciting European nights at Anfield.

That's exactly what they got thanks to goals from unlikely heroes Divock Origi and Georginio Wijnaldum, as they won 4-0, leaving their rivals completely shell shocked.

Centre back Matip has revealed that he met one of those shell shocked Barca players when doing a drugs test after the match.

"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," he told German outlet 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's anguish must have been pretty severe. In the first leg, which Liverpool were unlucky to lose 3-0, the six time Ballon d'Or winner looked to have set up a fourth goal in injury time.

Barca hit their opponents on the break, as they sought an away goal, and the Argentina forward decided to pass to an unmarked Ousmane Dembele but the Frenchman failed to convert the chance.

The Reds took the opening in the return leg and, despite missing Mo Salah, won the game 4-0, with Trent Alexander-Arnold's quick thinking corner finding Origi for the Belgian to score the winner.

It must have been doubly galling for the Spanish champions as they had seen a three goal lead thrown away in the Champions League the year before.

In the quarter finals in the 2017/18 season Roma came from 4-1 down to go through to the semi-finals on away goals.

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