Milner has no love lost for Messi despite the Argentine’s comment

Liverpool midfielder James Milner has said that he has complete respect for Lionel Messi despite the Barcelona star calling him a donkey in Spanish during the semi-final stage of the Champions League. The Argentine was not pleased with the regular tracking from the side of Milner in the first leg and it appears that he made the same clear when the teams were going through the tunnel at the break.

Speaking to The Mail, Milner revealed that he has some knowledge of the Spanish language and he heard Messi calling him a donkey, though the word has a different meaning in football. Despite this, the former Manchester City man added that he has only admiration for the five-time Ballon d’Or winner and believes the Argentine has earned the right to say what he wants.

He said: “Look, I’ve only got admiration for him. He has earned the right to say what he wants. The stuff he did in that game, stuff he has done his whole career, it makes him tough to play against. If you try and stop him, you can’t be scared of being made to look foolish. I’ve done it. I’ve been nutmegged by him and it has been viewed a million times. I wasn’t the first and I won’t be the last. He’s an incredible player.”

Liverpool had produced a strong performance at the Camp Nou during the opening leg but a series of bad luck moments meant that they succumbed to a 3-0 loss. However, they made a tremendous reply during the return leg where braces from Divock Origi and Georginio Wijnaldum ensured that they progressed to the final of the elite competition against the odds.

The Merseyside giants are now scheduled to face Tottenham Hotspur during this weekend’s Champions League final and they are certainly the favourites for the same with the better individuals through the field. The Reds recently did the double over the north London side during the 2018/19 Premier League season.