“If I had been playing all my life I could” – Outspoken NBA star makes bold claim on marking Lionel Messi in football

Houston Rockets’ Dillon Brooks has claimed that he would have possibly stopped Argentine playmaker Lionel Mess if he were a professional footballer.

Brooks, who joined the Rockets from the Memphis Grizzlies in 2023 and plays as a small forward, was also a part of the NBA All-Defensive Team last season.

During a recent interview with Mundo Deportivo, Dillon Brooks claimed that if he played football, he would have chosen to play as a defender. He also believed that he would probably stop eight-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi on the football pitch if he was a professional. He said (via GOAL):

“Could I stop Messi if I played soccer? Probably if I had been playing all my life I could. It’s just determination. In the end, you have to use your teammates for special guys like Messi or Antetokounmpo, you need your team to defend them.”

Milwaukee Bucks’s Giannis Antetokounmpo is one of the biggest stars in the NBA currently. Antetokounmpo won the NBA championship with Bucks in 2021 and was also named the NBA Finals MVP.

On the other hand, Lionel Messi is currently playing for MLS side Inter Miami, who won the 2023 Leagues Cup. Messi’s Barcelona teammates such as Sergio Busquets, Jordi Alba and Luis Suarez have also joined him in Miami.

Lionel Messi was close to returning to Barcelona before he joined Inter Miami: Reports

La Liga president Javier Tebas claimed that Argentine playmaker Lionel Messi was close to returning to Barcelona last summer before he joined David Beckham’s Inter Miami. According to the Daily Mirror, Tebas said Messi had three options ahead of him after he left Paris Saint-Germain. He said:

“Because of Messi and Barcelona’s desire, I saw a return as close. I saw it as possible. I’m sure Messi would have liked to retire at Barca.”

Despite the possibility of returning to his former club, no agreement was reached between the eight-time Ballon d’Or winner and the La Liga giants. Saudi Pro League sides were also reportedly interested in signing the Argentina captain.

Since joining the MLS side in July 2023, Messi has made 14 appearances for the Herons, bagging 11 goals and five assists. Miami will commence their 2024 MLS campaign against Real Salt Lake on February 21 (Wednesday).

Edited by Sankalp Srivastava

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