Pablo Maffeo made just five passes in the 77 minutes he was on the pitch during Girona FC’s 3-0 loss to Barcelona last weekend. It wasn’t a case of him being overlooked, but a specific task he was given – of shadowing, man marking the world’s greatest player Lionel Messi.
Though Girona were beaten soundly, two of the goals were own goals from their own players and Messi was kept off the score sheet, perhaps a sign that Maffeo did his job to some effect.
The highly-rated 20-year-old is on his third loan spell at Girona, but the first in Spain’s top flight, with this season set to be his most challenging and rewarding yet. He has already put in some good performances in La Liga and if he continues to develop, may yet find a place in Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City squad.
And he is unlikely to ever forget man marking the great Messi. El Día Después in Spain has put together a quirky video covering Maffeo’s performance and interactions with Messi, plus some words from his proud parents.
Check it out: