Jerome Boateng paid tribute to the quality of Lionel Messi after the Barcelona man mesmerised the World Cup winner on Wednesday.
Messi was in sublime form in the first leg of Barca’s UEFA Champions League semi-final with Bayern Munich at Camp Nou, scoring twice in a 3-0 win.
After smashing in the first from the edge of the area, Messi ghosted past Boateng, leaving the defender on his backside before clipping the ball beyond Manuel Neuer.
Neymar added a third in stoppage time to effectively wrap up the the tie at the halfway stage and, like the rest of the watching world, Boateng was quick to praise the Argentine magician.
“You can’t keep tabs on such a quality individual,” he told the DFB’s official website.
“You can only manage to reduce their threat as a team and, as shown by the closing stages, that certainly takes a lot out of you.
“You can’t keep Messi out of the game for 90 minutes. We did really well to limit his influence for the first 70, but then you have to continue to defend as a team.
“After falling behind, which shouldn’t happen in the first place, you can’t then allow the other team to further increase their advantage.”
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