James Milner has been speaking about Liverpool’s victory over Barcelona in the Champions League in the build-up to next weekend’s final – and has revealed how he managed to anger Lionel Messi.
Having been taken out by Milner in the first half at Camp Nou, Messi was furious and reacted angrily when the pair were heading into the tunnel for half-time.
Messi, though, was not to know that Milner speaks a good level of Spanish and was therefore able to understand every word.
Milner explained in an excellent interview with the Mail on Sunday: “He wasn’t happy. He was giving me plenty in Spanish going down the tunnel at half-time. He was calling me ‘burro’.
“It translates as ‘donkey’ but I think it’s also used in Spanish football as a general term for someone who goes around kicking people. I asked him if he was all right, but he wasn’t having it. I don’t think he realised I understood his Spanish.”
The Reds clearly managed to successfully get under Messi and his teammate’s skin in the second leg at Anfield, but even before that the seeds were being sown.
Milner will hope that he’s done enough to keep his place for the final on Saturday, although with Roberto Firmino back fit again, it’s likely to be a straight choice between him and Gini Wijnaldum.