Sporting Lisbon player Rodrigo Battaglia recalled the game when he was asked to mark Barcelona star Lionel Messi throughout 90 minutes. Sporting Lisbon and Barcelona were in the same group in the Champions League during the 2017-18 season and Rodrigo Battaglia seemingly had a difficult task to contain the Barcelona talisman when his side travelled to Camp Nou.
Rodrigo Battaglia was asked to mark Lionel Messi at Camp Nou. However, the player's reaction was that of being stunned and he felt "ashamed". During an Instagram Live session, Battaglia revealed the interaction with his manager over being asked to mark the six-time Ballon d'Or winner during the Champions League clash.
Rodrigo Battaglia recalled that a week before the clash against Barcelona, the Sporting Lisbon manager informed him that he was going to mark a short guy (hinting at Lionel Messi). He inquired with the manager if he had to keep a check on Lionel Messi throughout the game to which the manager answered in the affirmative.
Rodrigo Battaglia maintained that he had to follow the best player in the world everywhere on the field, which was something new for him. He also revealed that the Sporting Lisbon manager used to send him videos of Messi's movements on the field. He informed the manager that he had watched all those videos, however, the manager insisted on him watching those again in front of him.
Despite Battaglia's efforts, Barcelona won the game with a 1-0 scoreline, courtesy of an own goal from Sporting Lisbon's Sebastian Coates. However, Battaglia's performance against Lionel Messi meant many positives for him, as he emerged as the go-to-guy for man-marking important opponent players.