Alexis Sanchez has revealed that Chelsea once made Lionel Messi cry. The Manchester United striker shared a dressing room with the five-time Ballon d’Or winner during their shared time together at Barcelona. During an interview with Sky Sports, Sanchez offered an insight into how badly the Argentinean would take defeat.
‘You might cry during a game if you lose a final,’ said Sanchez. ‘That’s all part of football. In the Barcelona dressing room after the Chelsea game, I saw Leo [Messi] cry. That’s because players demand so much from themselves. People don’t see that.’
The game Sanchez was referring to was the 2012 Champions League semi-final meeting between Chelsea and Barcelona.
With a 1-0 lead from the first-leg, Chelsea produced one of the great defensive displays in the second-leg in Barcelona.
After seeing captain John Terry sent off early in the game, the Blues managed to draw 2-2 at the Nou Camp with Fernando Torres scoring late in the game for Chelsea. The Premier League side would go on to win the tournament.
Messi will have a chance for revenge later this month, with Chelsea and Barcelona coming face-to-face for the first time since that memorable semi-final. They meet in the Round of 16 with Chelsea hosting the first-leg on 20 February.
Alexis Sanchez equals his own awful Manchester United record in Newcastle defeat
Still on Alexis Sanchez….. he has done little to dispel his reputation for being wasteful on the ball since moving to Manchester United and has now given away possession over 100 times after equalling his own record for giving the ball away in Sunday’s loss to Newcastle United.
The Chilean, who moved to Old Trafford from Arsenal in a straight swap for Henrikh Mkhitaryan in January, lost possession for the Gunners more frequently than any other player this season – while, since he has been in England, no Premier League player has turned over possession on more occasions.
Alexis Sanchez possession lost v opponents
VS Huddersfield (H) – 36 times
VS Newcastle (A) – 36 times
VS Tottenham (A) – 22 times
VS Yeovil Town (A) – 31 times
That trend has continued at United, with Sanchez’s latest showing against Newcastle meaning he has now lost possession 125 times in just four appearances in all competitions.
That means Sanchez is giving away possession, on average, every 2.7 minutes, while, given that he has had 377 touches in a United shirt, every third touch he takes gifts possession back to the opposition.
Since his debut for United, Sanchez has lost possession over TWICE as many times as the next worst player at the club, Antonio Valencia – though admittedly the right-back has made fewer appearances.
Ashley Young, meanwhile, is the only player to have given the ball away more times than Sanchez in a match since he joined United, having done so 24 times against Tottenham.
Sanchez’s wastefulness was in evidence once again in Sunday’s defeat to Newcastle United, and while he looked the player most likely to break down a stubborn defence, he also gave away possession 36 times, twice as many times as any of his teammates.
It also equals the figure he posted against Huddersfield, which is the worst by any United player this season and the worst since Nani gave the ball away 38 times in a 3-2 defeat at home to Blackburn Rovers in 2011.
It looks like Jose Mourinho has a bit of a problem on his hands!
Lionel Messi picks his two favourites to win the Champions League
Lionel Messi believes Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain are the two favourites to win the Champions League this season.
Pep Guardiola‘s side face FC Basel in the last-16 stage, while PSG face Real Madrid in the standout tie of the knockout phase.
Messi and Barcelona are up against Chelsea and the La Liga leaders travel to Stamford Bridge for their first leg on February 20.
But the five-time Ballon d’Or winner believes City and PSG are currently the ‘best’ in Europe as things stand.
‘Manchester City are one of the strongest teams around, as well as Paris Saint-Germain,’ Messi told the Sunday Mirror.
‘I also do not exclude Real Madrid in terms of quality and experience, even though they have not yet achieved the expected results.
‘Then there’s Bayern Munich, another great team who will play until the end.
‘Today, however, the best are City and PSG.’