Maffeo who was tasked with stopping the Argentine forward, was quizzed by the Barca superstar during Saturday’s clash at Estadi Municipal de Montilivi.
For most young footballers playing against Lionel Messi would be a dream come true.
The Spanish 20-year-old, currently on a season-long loan at newly-promoted Catalan side Girona from Manchester City, caught Messi’s attention during their 3-0 loss on Saturday.
However, Messi’s kind words are the only personal memento for Manchester City youngster Pablo Maffeo.
“He [Messi] asked me a couple of things, like if I was loaned by City and how old I was,” Maffeo said. “It was all good.”
“I had to mark him and I had to be close to him and not watch the ball. It is difficult, not just from a football perspective, but also psychologically.
“I appreciate the trust the coach placed in me.”
Despite being a huge fan of the Barcelona star, a promise to a close friend meant the loanee was unable to ask for the Argentinian’s precious jersey.
“A friend of mine wanted Ter Stegen’s shirt so I asked the goalkeeper,” Maffeo told Marca.
“Messi is the best footballer in the world, but friends come first says the young star.