Sevilla defender Gabriel Mercado claims that if he is too harsh towards Messi, he will not be able to show his face when he flies back to Argentina.The two national teammates will face each other in the Copa del Rey final at the Wanda Metropolitano on Saturday. The match is going to be a repeat of the final of two years ago, where the Catalans had won 2-0.
I can’t go back to Argentina if I smack Messi, says Mercado
Vincenzo Montella’s side Sevilla looked to be the first team to beat Barcelona this season in a La Liga match at Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, but Messi came on as a substitute to seal a 2-2 draw for his team.
Mercado knows that there are not too many ways to stop the Argentina superstar and if he becomes harsh, he would be causing anger back home ahead of the World Cup.
"If I smack him, I can't go back to Argentina!" he told AS.
"You can't stop Messi by fouling him; you put one in on him and he just gets up and carries on, wanting to play football. His only thought on the pitch is how to hurt the opposition and score.”
"He is the best in the world, beyond doubt. He pops up all over the pitch, scores goals, lays them on for his team-mates…”
"We're going to have a lot of work to do in defence and we'll have to play to perfection. But we are dreaming of winning the cup and nobody's going to take it from us easily."
Messi has scored 39 goals in 49 games in all competitions this year. He is currently leading the goals (29) and assists (12) chart in La Liga this season.