Left-back Elderson Echiejile has admitted that it was difficult keeping track of FC Barcelona’s Lionel Messi when Nigeria’s Super Eagles faced their Argentine opponents on Tuesday in an international friendly.
The Nigerians lost 1 – 3 to the Argentines at the Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
But Echiejile, 23, gave credit to Messi for his sheer quality during the game in which the Super Eagles struggled to cope with the pace and dribble runs of the petite forward.
It was apparent that the Sporting Braga defender was full of plaudit for the Fifa World Footballer of the Year following his solo run that led to Argentina’s second goal in which he took out the Nigerian backline.
In spite of the loss to Argentina’s Albiceleste, Echiejile is thankful to have come up against some of the best footballers in the world and savours the opportunity.
“Messi is a very good player and was too fast against us. He is an intelligent footballer. Also, it was a really great experience playing against some of the world’s most experienced players,” the former Bendel Insurance man said.
Echiejile is also sorry that the Super Eagles could not come up with a winning result against the Argentines.
He added that the team had to endure playing through fatigue having travelled across the Indian Ocean from Antananarivo, Madagascar to Dhaka.
He also said playing two games in the space of two days took its toll on the team physically.
“It was not an easy game. We were trying to see if we could pull off something. But most of the players were not fully fit for this game after the long trip from Madagascar to Dhaka, Bangladesh.