Lionel Messi: Video proves Barcelona star's favourite opponent was Xabi Alonso

Lionel Messi vs Xabi Alonso - a very one-sided battle...

Many world-class footballers have tried and failed to stop Lionel Messi.

The Barcelona legend is, in the eyes of many, the greatest player of all time and his outrageous natural ability makes him virtually impossible to thwart.

It's the reason why the 33-year-old has scored 648 goals for the Blaugrana and a further 71 for the Argentine national team.

The numbers speak for themselves and it's not like Messi only nets against inferior opposition.

He strikes against the best in the business, with Barca's arch rivals Real Madrid feeling the full force of the Argentine's brilliance in front of goal down the years.

Messi & Alonso in action

Since 2005, Messi has scored 26 goals, contributed 14 assists and dropped a plethora of masterclasses against Los Blancos.

Various Real Madrid players have been personally subjected to humiliation by Messi during that time as well, none more so than Xabi Alonso.

The Spaniard is one of the best defensive midfielders the beautiful game has ever seen, but even he could not cope with Messi's quick feet and low-centre of gravity.

A video shows just how many times Alonso was left trailing in the Argentine's wake and it's quite incredible to watch.

Messi vs Alonso

Like a Year 7 trying to stop a Year 11.

To say Messi had Alonso's number would be a humungous understatement. The former Liverpool midfielder simply couldn't lay a glove on the Barcelona superstar when they came face-to-face in El Clasico.

Back in 2019, Alonso appeared on The Coaches' Voice and explained why playing against Messi was so difficult.

"He (Messi) used to be in this, like, false nine you know, it's been told so much about the false nine.

"But Xavi used to come here to get the ball and when I used to go to press him - this space - Messi came from the number nine position to this position behind me."

"And they used to do two against one against me, and [Sergio] Ramos came to press Messi where this big space used to be created and when Messi got [the ball] he used to play for [David] Villa or for Pedro in that position."

Trying to stop the Argentine sounds like a right laugh...

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