Former Liverpool legend, John Benjamin Toshack, spoke about stopping Messi and also reminisced about his past as a player for the Reds.
There was a time when Liverpool was one of the strongest clubs in European football and John Benjamin Toshack was an integral part of that squad.
The Welsh former player and former manager lived one of the most successful careers from the old era.
The man won three old English First Division titles and two UEFA Cup trophies during his eight seasons as a Red.
During the 1975-76 season, Toshack played against Johan Cruyff’s FC Barcelona and eliminated them from the UEFA Cup semifinals.
John scored one of the goals that gave them that eventual ticket to the final that they won against Club Brugge.
That Liverpool squad was one of the most competitive in Europe back then, they truly dominated the landscape between the seventies and the eighties.
A long time has passed now and that dominant Liverpool squad is a thing of the past, this modern Reds’ team struggles to win the Premier League.
John Toshack spoke to Diario AS about the upcoming semifinal between his former squad and FC Barcelona, he is truly worried about Lionel Messi and his greatness.
THE SHANKLY ERA . (ON THIS DAY 45 YEARS AGO 27/04/1974) . First Division . West Ham United 2 Liverpool 2 . The Reds Warmed Up For Their Upcoming FA Cup Final Drawing 2-2 At Upton Park Thanks To Two Second Half Goals From John Toshack (58 mins) & Kevin Keegan On 90 Minutes . pic.twitter.com/NCR7ojnBbR
— john shimmin (@JohnShimmin) April 27, 2019
“Betting against Messi is extremely difficult. As long as Messi is around, you gotta be stupid to bet against Barça.”
“This man is capable of breaking any bet. Messi is something else, I think. Normally, it is the managers who make the players better.”
“But I think that he is the one who makes the managers better. He is definitely one of the best, although the greatest ever for me will always be John Charles.”
“I watched him play when I was nine years old. He came to play for Cardiff during the final stage of his career. I was 16 or 16 when that happened.”
“I spent entire afternoons with him, moments I will never forget. He is the best player I ever saw, but I imagine that is something very personal for me.”
“But when I see Messi… The first thing that comes to my mind is: we don’t even have to train him.”
“A manager is usually very nervous during a match but this type of player gives you an extra. He is incredible.”
“Just like you have a handicap in golf, we should also have a handicap just for Messi. The ref should give one goal of advantage to the rivals when they play against Messi,” he concluded.
— CRUYFFISMO (@1899Yago_) February 6, 2019
John Toshack’s white past at Real Madrid
There is also a major factor that pushes John Benjamin Toshack to support Liverpool over FC Barcelona on Wednesday.
The Welshman has a white past as the Real Madrid manager from the end of the ’90s decade.
The former manager is actually one of those foreign former players who developed a very personal relationship with Spanish football.
John actually started his professional career as a manager in Spain as the Real Sociedad manager.
He will always be credited for playing a key role in the discovery of several incredible players who became legends of the game in the country.
Toshack is the man who discovered major names such as Iker Casillas and Xabi Alonso. But perhaps the most recognizable name that he gets credit for is his compatriot Gareth Bale.
During his six years as the Wales manager, the coach realized he found a truly great talent in the winger and he became one of his greatest discoveries as a professional manager.
John will be rooting for Liverpool on Wednesday for sure, but he will also be rooting against FC Barcelona regardless of how unstoppable Messi is.
Toshack durante su segunda etapa con el Real Madrid. pic.twitter.com/X76YTevoRh
— Revista Líbero (@revistalibero) January 29, 2017
What do you think about John Toshack’s definition of Lionel Messi and his Liverpool past? Please share your opinion in the comment section down below.