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Soccer News of Friday, 5 August 2022


'He is from another planet' - Super Eagles player recounts facing Messi at 2010 WC

Lukman Haruna against Leo Messi at the 2010 World Cup play videoLukman Haruna against Leo Messi at the 2010 World Cup

Nigerian midfielder, Lukman Haruna has hailed Argentine superstar and seven-time Ballon D'or winner, Lionel Messi saying he is from a different planet.

The 31-year-old midfielder was part of the Super Eagles team that faced the Albiceleste in the group stages during the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.

The Maradona-led Argentine side won by a lone goal, courtesy of Gabriel Heinze's diving header in the 6th minute.

According to the ex-Monaco man, it was a great moment for him to come up against the best player in the world on the World Cup stage.

He added that facing Messi made him lose his confidence as a player due to the magician's ability to turn games around in a split second.

He revealed this in an exclusive interview with The PUNCH Sports Extra.

“People talk about Messi a lot, but I must tell you he is from another planet, the ex- Golden Eaglets captain told The Punch.

“It was a great moment for me. Seeing him walk down the tunnel that day, I won’t lie; I lost my confidence as a player that moment because he is a player capable of singlehandedly destroying any team.

“But I overcame it after our anthem was rendered but unfortunately we lost that game. I still have pictures of that game in my gallery where I came up against him. Each time the Eagles take on Argentina and I see those pictures, it rekindles old memories of my time in the Eagles.”

Haruna Lukman captained the Golden Eaglets to triumph at the U-17 FIFA World Cup in 2007.

He also featured for Nigeria at the U-20 World Cup hosted by Egypt in 2009 before gaining a call-up to represent the Super Eagles at the FIFA World Cup a year later.

Check out highlights of the game below: