African All Stars

Messi delight for Getafe's young Ghanaian midfielder Sabit 

5:48 PM GMT 07/05/2021
Abdulai Sabit Getafe 2020-21
The youngster reflects on taking to the pitch against Barcelona in La Liga last month

Ghanaian and Getafe midfielder Abdulai Sabit reveals playing on the same pitch with Argentina and Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi was nothing but surreal.

On his second-ever appearance in La Liga, Sabit was a 46th-minute substitute as his side succumbed to a 5-2 defeat against the Blaugrana last month.

"Before the Barcelona match, I had the feeling that I was going to get maybe five to 10 minutes playing time but when the coach made the selection, he kept one or two best midfielders on the bench," Sabit told BBC Sport Africa.

"So I told myself maybe even if there were going to be substitutions it would be them because they are the starters.

"When we went for half-time in the dressing room the coach mentioned my name that I should go and warm up. I said: 'Me?!' He said: 'Yes, you.' I was surprised. I can't even describe it. I was overwhelmed."

Sabit joined Getafe last summer from Spanish lower tier side Extremadura on a season-long loan.

Earlier last month, he made his La Liga debut for the side in a 0-0 draw with Osasuna.

"When the referee whistled for the start of the second half [against Barcelona], my mind was focused on the game but when I was getting close to [Lionel] Messi, I was asking myself: 'Is this Messi I am going to meet?' I couldn't believe it," said the 21-year-old.

"Me against Messi, [Antoine] Griezmann, [Gerard] Pique, [Sergio] Busquets... Although the result wasn't good for us, I felt happy playing against those kinds of players.

"I never expected to play in that La Liga game against Osasuna - I had been on the bench 10 times with the first team like against Real Madrid, Athletic Bilbao, Seville and Elche."

With a La Liga debut in the bag and a match against six-time Ballon d'Or winner Messi to boast with, the Ghanaian has set his sights on convincing Getafe to make his elite division football stay permanent.

"I don't know what they want to see again. From my perspective, I think I have done my best. Now I'm looking at them, the decision is in their hands," he remarked.

Sabit has played for Ghana at U21 level but he is yet to earn a senior call-up.