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L. Messi

‘Messi looks fake on the field, like a wax statue!’ - Australia star Baccus reveals what it is like to face Argentina icon

1:43 PM GMT 09/12/2022
Messi
Keanu Baccus has revealed what it’s like to share a field with Lionel Messi, with the Australia star claiming the Argentine “looks like a wax statue”.
  • Socceroos faced legend at Qatar 2022
  • Suffered a last-16 defeat
  • Honoured to have graced the same field

WHAT HAPPENED? St Mirren midfielder Baccus got the opportunity to line up against the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner during the round of 16 at the 2022 World Cup. The Socceroos suffered a 2-1 defeat in that contest with Messi among the goals, and the Aussie, unaccustomed to performing under the brightest of spotlights, admitted that it felt slightly surreal to be chasing down an all-time great who has a mythical air about him.

WHAT THEY SAID: Baccus has said of facing Messi: “It’s surreal how good he actually is and how he watches the game, sees the game and takes it on himself. It’s very special because not many people can do that. Receive the ball from anywhere on the field and back yourself, be confident to go at people and take the game on. I was trying to watch over my shoulder just to see where he was and what he was doing all the time.

A special player to watch. He looks fake on the field, he looks a bit like a wax statue, to be honest. But it was amazing to play against him and I was trying to learn but it’s also hard when your in the thick of it.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: While Australia were disappointed to see their run at Qatar 2022 come to an end against Argentina, a number of their players – including Baccus – took the opportunity afterwards to grab a selfie with Paris Saint-Germain superstar Messi.

IN TWO PHOTOS:

WHAT NEXT? Argentina, who are looking to land an elusive global crown for their talismanic captain, will be back in action on Friday when facing the Netherlands in a 2022 World Cup quarter-final.