Josko Gvardiol claims it was a ‘nice experience’ to play against in Croatia’s defeat to Argentina in the semi final.
Croatia missed out on a place in Sunday’s final as Argentina sealed a 3-0 victory on Tuesday evening.
Messi, meanwhile, delivered another talismanic display in the semi final as he scored a penalty to put Argentina ahead before his sublime assist allowed Julian Alvarez to score his second of the game.
Gvardiol was on the receiving end of another moment of magic from Messi as the 35-year-old skillfully beat the Croatian defender to set up Alvarez.
When asked what it was like to try to contain Messi, Gvardiol claims Argentina’s key man is ‘a completely different player’ when playing for the national team.
‘It was a nice experience even though I played against him in the club last season,’ Gvardiol said ahead of Croatia’s third-placed playoff against Morocco on Saturday.
‘He is a completely different type of player in the club and in the national team.
‘I am glad that I played against him even though we lost. But today and tomorrow I will be able to tell the children that I guarded Messi for 90 minutes. I guess we will beat him next time.’
Gvardiol’s Croatia teammate Andrej Kramaric added: ‘Messi is the greatest player in history.’
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