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Marcelo: Mbappe more difficult to play against than Messi & he can become the world's best

16:23 GMT 21/02/2019
Kylian Mbappe Lionel Messi PSG Barcelona
The Lyon centre-back admits to having a tougher time against the Frenchman this season having also faced the Barcelona star in the Champions League

Lyon centre-back Marcelo has revealed that he found it more difficult coming up against Kylian Mbappe this season than Lionel Messi.

The Brazilian defender took on Messi and Barcelona in Tuesday's Champions League last-16 clash, with the game ending in a 0-0 draw ahead of the second leg at Camp Nou on March 13.

And it was the hosts who came closest to securing an aggregate lead, with Marc-Andre ter Stegen having to be at full stretch to deny Martin Terrier, tipping his fizzing long-range effort onto the crossbar.

The scores did remain level, however, and Marcelo insists that, with Argentine sensation Messi having had a relatively quiet game, he was given a tougher test when he faced PSG striker Mbappe.

Lyon have already played the Ligue 1 champions twice this season, becoming the only side to beat Thomas Tuchel's men in the league on the second occasion the two faced off as they claimed a 2-1 victory.

PSG were comfortable winners back in October 2018, however, with Mbappe scoring an incredible four times in a 5-0 victory for the hosts at Parc des Princes.

Discussing his duels with Mbappe and Messi, Marcelo told Goal: "The players I've played against in recent times are at the very top level.

"Playing against Mbappe this season, he gave me a lot of work. Messi didn't play very well [on Tuesday], but Mbappe, for the speed, positioning, having direct confrontations with him, he was the most difficult.

"I think there is a great possibility that he will soon become the best in the world. There are some points that he needs to improve to be compared to Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, but he is evolving very fast."

With Mbappe having played a key role in France winning the World Cup in 2018, Marcelo believes that Ligue 1 has benefitted from the national team's exploits in Russia.

He added: "There's been a change in visibility [in French football]. Today it's much bigger than before the World Cup. We knew that France were doing a very important job, the same work that Germany did together with the clubs and the federation [when they won the World Cup in 2014].

"When things are organised things improve. You see France blooding many new players. The national team today has young players with the potential to play in another World Cup and at a very high level. The visibility is great and there are now very big transfers in France."