Why I Was Hard On Messi —Lukman


Super Eagles and AC Monaco of France youngster, Haruna Lukman has finally revealed why he personally took on Argentina’s Lionel Messi during their opening match at the Ellis Park Stadium in Johannesburg.


Lukman, who made a name as the first Nigerian player to feature consecutively in the three FIFA World Cups, U-17 in South Korea 2007, U-20 last year in Egypat and the ongoing 2010 senior World Cup holding in South Africa, said he became uncomfortable when the Argentines turned the match into their show.

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“I was unhappy seeing the Argentines playing the ball all alone at some point, so I decided to do an extra job by marking Messi, who was dribbling everyone. The Barcelona player is a good player no doubt, but I felt that our players were giving him too much room to operate.

“So, I tried to close-mark him and later realised he is just a player like me. Ofcourse, I got the ball out of his legs but, I must confess, the Argentines played us hands down because we gave them enough space, especially Messi. He was all over the place, that was why I went after him,” Lukman told P.M.Sports.

The former youth international, however, believes that Nigeria would have to work extra hard to survive in the group. “We are in a very difficult position on the table. We are third behind Greece and Argentina, so we have to work hard if Nigeria wants to play in the second round,” he said.

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