Liverpool star Joel Matip has revealed one of the “most beautiful” moments of his career was tempered by a meeting with a miserable Lionel Messi.
Matip says that Liverpool’s brilliant 4-0 win over Barcelona last May in the Champions League semi-final second leg at Anfield was a night he will never forget. The Reds were 3-0 down from the Bernabeu leg, but put on a super show to sink Barcelona and reach the Champions League final.
Afterwards Matip was drug tested and he was met by a downbeat Messi as the two waited to be checked at Anfield.
“After the game, we lined up arm-in-arm in front of the Kop together and sang ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ with the fans,” Matip told 11Freunde.
“That was one of the most beautiful moments of my career, maybe on the same level as my debut for Schalke in Munich.
“I didn’t care about anything; I was floating on air after singing with the fans.
“And when I came into the doping test room, there was a guy sitting there pretty depressed – Lionel Messi.
“You know each other from the pitch, but it’s not like you sit around with them every day in a small room like you’re getting coffee.
“Everyone is celebrating, and I’m sitting in a cubicle with Messi.”
He said: “The Liverpool game was a really hard blow for us.
“Not just for me, but for the whole squad, and it has been hard to recover from it.
“We were terrible on the night at Anfield and to lose in the same way twice in two years is not acceptable.
“I didn’t promise to bring the trophy back, but I did promise to do everything I could to bring it back.
“However we were unable to do that, and we should say sorry for the performance in the second leg, because we did not even compete.”