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Atlético de Madrid goalkeeper Jan Oblak has given an idea of how difficult it is to face Lionel Messi, and that comes from one of the best on the planet.
Oblak was known to few before his arrival at Atlético, but just like Thibaut Courtois did when on loan from Chelsea, he became one of the best goalkeepers in the world during his time with Diego Simeone.
Of course, he has been helped by playing behind one of the strongest baselines in world football, but time and time again, Oblak has proven himself to be world class with phenomenal goalkeeping acts.
One man who has forced him to get the ball through the back of the net many times, in fact ten times, is Lionel Messi, although the vast majority of goalkeepers who have ever faced the Argentine will say the same.
Talking to Sky sports The night Messi broke Pele’s record for the most goals scored for a single club, Oblak gave an unprecedented insight into what it’s like to play in goal with Messi on the pitch:
“It just came to our attention then. Sometimes you think you are controlling them, you are controlling him. But in a second, change the game, score a goal and win Barcelona.”
“Sometimes you don’t see it. You may be thinking that it is not dangerous. And then write down. This happened to us last season. You need to be 100 percent focused. “
“That is Messi’s problem for goalkeepers,” Oblak continued, on the issue of anticipation.
“The anticipation depends on the player because there are some players that you can easily predict. There are some players that are more difficult to predict. Then there is Messi. It is impossible to predict. Not many players have the chances that he has with the ball.
“You can never predict where will shoot and you can never predict when he is going to shoot. When it comes to Messi, you can never predict anything. Never. “
It’s no wonder he managed to score 644 goals in Barcelona colors when even a goalkeeper of Oblak’s caliber has such a hard time facing him. Messi sounds like a real nightmare to play against.
You can say what you want about Messi, love him or hate him, there will never be another like him, certainly not in our lives. What an amazing player.