What’s it like to defend against Lionel Messi?
It’s a question most of us can ponder safe in the knowledge we will never find ourselves in such a unenviable situation.
Giorgio Chiellini is one of a few unlucky mortals who has had to face Barcelona’s superhuman one-on-one — and the Italian defender has fared better than most.
Speaking to Corriere Della Sera, the Juventus centre-back described what it’s like to play against Messi.
“When you try to anticipate his moves you’re dead,” he said.
“Because he reads things so fast that you can’t touch him.
“The only way is to limit him is with teamwork.
“Even the best defender in the world, if he thinks he handle it, he has no hope against Messi.”
Chiellini and company welcome Messi and Barcelona to Turin on Wednesday in the Champions League.
The Old Lady defeated the Catalan giants in the Champions League quarter-finals last season, keeping a clean sheet in both legs.
In the dying moments of the second leg at the Nou Camp, Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci were seen arguing over which of them would get Messi’s shirt at full-time.
The two teams met earlier this season in Catalonia where Messi bagged a brace as part of a virtuoso performance that helped Barcelona to a 3-0 win.
Later this week the irresistible force meets the immovable object once again.
And you can guarantee it will be as engaging as always.