How it feels to defend against Messi, Neymar and Mbappe – Ghana’s Alidu Seidu narrates

Ghanaian right-back Alidu Seidu has shared his experience of trying to mark PSG trio Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.

How it feels to defend against Messi, Neymar and Mbappe – Ghana’s Alidu Seidu narrates

Seidu had a breakthrough season in Ligue 1 with Clermont Foot and made 21 appearances as the club survived relegation.

The 22-year-old, therefore, faced Messi, Neymar and Mbappe in the course of the campaign and has recounted his experience.

Narrating how defending against Messi feels, Seidu told Kumasi-based Pure FM: “For Messi, he is exceptional. People say he always walks on the pitch, he doesn't walk for the sake of it. He is always finding space. If you watch him you'll notice whenever he receives the ball he has space.

“My coaches used to tell me that a good player is a player who always receives the ball as a free man. For some players, while receiving the ball you'll see players already on him. But for Messi, you won't get him."

"Unless he starts driving with the ball then you tackle him. Anytime you try to get on him before he receives the ball, he had already noticed you. He is an exceptional player. When he was in Barcelona, I didn't like him. But the truth is he is an exceptional player.”

Describing his experience against Mbappe, the Ghana defender stated: "I did not spare him because he has pace. So anytime he tries to outpace me, I held his hand and make sure we all fall. He has pace. If you watch him from the stands, you might think the defender doesn't have speed, but it's not his fault.

“Mbappe has pace. He is strong, he has good technique, he has everything, and he is smart. I made up my mind that if he dribbles me, I'll foul him.”

Meanwhile, Seidu said he was always extra vigilant when tackling Neymar, explaining: “On defending against Neymar, Seidu said due to the Brazilian's quick feet, he always had his eye on the ball instead of looking at the former Barcelona player.

"If you don't focus, he will disgrace you. So, I always give him space after he is done with what he wants to do with the ball then he passes. But when I get close to him, I made sure I get a contact. When he has the ball you might think you've dispossessed him but before you'll realise he has gone past you.

“And if you are not lucky, he will nutmeg you. And when you get nutmegged, it will go viral. So, I always had my focus on the ball, not on him."

Seidu was recently called up by Otto Addo for Ghana’s 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers against Madagascar and the Central African Republic (CAR) in June.

Although the right-back did not feature in the qualifiers, he finally made his debut in the Kirin Cup against Japan.


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