Liverpool defender Andy Robertson does not welcome the potential arrival of Lionel Messi to the Premier League.
Following intense speculation about his future at Barcelona and uncertainty as to whether a €700 million release clause was active or not, the six-time Ballon d’Or winner had been heavily linked with a move to Manchester City.
It would have been the biggest transfer in football history and a huge deal for the Premier League but Robertson, who has played against Messi on two occasions, does not want to line up against Messi in English football.
“From a completely selfish point of view I hope it doesn’t happen, hopefully, he stays at Barca,” Robertson said, as per Goal.
“He’s one of, if not the best player to ever play the game so for him to go to one of your nearest rivals is probably never a good sign. He’s a fantastic player, I’ve no doubt if he came to the Premier League he’d bring the exact same quality, the same passion and everything he brings at Barca.
“I think Liverpool have ruled out that we are going to sign him, so for me, I don’t want him anywhere near the Premier League and hopefully it stays that way, but we’ll wait and see what happens with that.
“Obviously you can see the uncertainty at Barca, I think everyone can see that, and hopefully they get it resolved. If he comes to the Prem we’ll deal with it, it’ll be great for the lads to play against him.
“I’ve played against him twice and it’s the hardest games I’ve ever played, so you need to stay on watch against him at all times, he can pop up out of nowhere.
“He’s a fantastic player, probably the best to ever play the game but hopefully he stays in Spain for me.”
Messi, who has 26 goals against Premier League opposition in Europe, struck twice playing against Robertson and Liverpool in the Champions League semi-final first leg at the Nou Camp just over a year ago.
But Liverpool won 4-0 in the thrilling second leg at Anfield and progressed to the final courtesy of a shambolic Barcelona collapse.
Robertson memorably shoved Messi doing the opening exchanges and though Liverpool fans loved his approach, the former Hull City man regrets his actions.
Andy Robertson letting Lionel Messi know he's in for a game at Anfield 👀 pic.twitter.com/Anl4mkNh8e— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) May 7, 2019
Speaking to the Daily Mail in February, he said: “I do look back on that moment with Messi as one regret. I don’t like seeing it. When I saw it afterwards I was gutted.
“We all had the attitude that day that nothing was standing in our way to get to that final and we created that atmosphere around the stadium and me and Fabinho were tracking him and there was a tangle of legs and we were on the floor. To do that to the greatest player that has ever played…”