Todibo makes ‘CRAZY’ Messi training revelation

Robin Bairner
Robin Bairner
  • 2 Dec 2023 16:08 GMT
  • 3 min read
Barcelona are planning a tribute match for Lionel Messi in November 2024
© ProShots

Jean-Clair Todibo has claimed that when he was at Barcelona, special rules were instigated in training to protect Lionel Messi.

Messi was an untouchable figure at Barca during his 17-year spell at the club, during which he set all-time records for appearances, goals and assists.

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The Argentine, who recently claimed his eighth Ballon d’Or crown, was given special protection, according to Todibo, who played at Camp Nou from 2019-2021.

“At Barcelona they didn’t allow us to touch Messi in training. It sounds crazy, but it’s true. We had to be careful,” he is reported to have said by Marca.

“But that’s normal, he’s the best, and you don’t want to hurt him.”

Leo Messi is a legend at Barcelona
© ProShots - Leo Messi is a legend at Barcelona

Todibo has gone from strength to strength

While Messi is now in MLS with Inter Miami, where reports indicate he could soon be joined by fellow former Barca legend Luis Suarez, Todibo is enjoying a fine campaign with Nice.

The Frenchman has won his first international cap this season and his side are fighting at the top of the table, having not trailed for a single minute of football this term.

Todibo, meanwhile, has been attracting transfer interest himself, with Manchester United strongly linked with a move for the centre-back, who freely admits that he did not show his true potential at Barcelona because of his attitude.

Jean-Clair Todibo, Nice
© ProShots - Jean-Clair Todibo, Nice

“Nobody pushed me to leave Toulouse to go to Barcelona, nobody pushed me to make mistakes, I made them like a big boy. Today, that's what makes the man I am and the player I am. I'm very proud of them and very happy even if I would have preferred not to have made them,” he would later explain.

With Sir Jim Ratcliffe, who owns Nice, set to take over a 25% minority stake in Man Utd, the odds on Todibo moving to Old Trafford look good – but unfortunately for the Red Devils, they do not have a player the calibre of Messi who needs protection.

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