Liverpool midfielder James Milner was called ‘donkey’ my probably one of the best footballers in the world, but he is not angry about it.
In an interview with the Daily Mail, Milner, who is learning Spanish, revealed that the Argentine striker wasn’t happy about a tackle in the first leg of the Champions League semi-final.
Liverpool lost the first leg 3-0, but came back strong to pull off an Anfield miracle with, scoring 4 goals to beat the Catalans 4-3 on aggregate and set up a date with Tottenham Hotspurs in the final.
However, Messi was magical in the first leg with his tap-in and a wonder striker from a free-kick giving Barca the much-needed boost.
The event took place just before the end of the first half when Messi made a run on the left flank but was brought down by a Milner shoulder-barge after being thrown off balance by Andy Robertson.
Messi wasn’t happy about the push and also demanded a yellow card for Milner.
“He wasn’t happy,” recalled Milner. “He was giving me plenty in Spanish going down the tunnel at half-time as well. 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.”
However, Milner wasn’t displeased by the choice of word and defended Messi’s right to say anything because of the wonders he does on the pitch.
“I asked him if he was all right, but he wasn’t having it. I don’t think he realised I understood his Spanish. He said, ‘That foul you did, that’s because I nutmegged you’. I left him to it at that point and went into the changing room. Look, I’ve only got admiration for him. He has earned the right to say what he wants.”