‘He walked past me in the tunnel and I was like a fan’: Aston Villa defender Matty Cash admits he was star-struck facing Lionel Messi at the World Cup… and reveals how he got to meet Ronaldinho on his holiday afterwards!
Matty Cash has described the moment he felt like a fan as he come up against Lionel Messi during the World Cup in Qatar.
The pair met during the group stages of the competition, where Argentina defeated Poland 2-0 on their way to reaching the final of the tournament.
Talking as a guest on Sky Sports’ Soccer AM, the 25-year-old expressed what it was like to face the Argentinian No 10.
Matty Cash was a guest on Soccer AM and talked about his experiences in at the World Cup
Cash got to see Lionel Messi close-up when Argentina clashed with Poland at the World Cup
‘I tried to get close! No, he stayed on the other side, which I was happy about. Messi is Messi, he’s unbelievable. To see him, to play against him and to see him in real life next to you. He walked past me at half-time in the tunnel and I was looking at him thinking that’s Messi – I’m like a little fan to him.
‘Seeing him close, right next to you, his ball control is next level. And his weight of pass, he just cushions the ball.’
‘He walks into position a lot, and they obviously know that. Then he just turns it on and he does what he does like you see on TV. What he did in the last game was unbelievable.’
A sunburnt Cash bumped into Ronaldinho on a beach in Qatar and got a picture with the icon
Messi wasn’t the only icon Cash came to face-to-face with during his time in Qatar. The Aston Villa defender was taking a short break following Poland’s elimination and bumped into Brazilian legend Ronaldinho whilst walking down one of the beaches.
Cash seized the opportunity to speak to the former Barcelona star and posed for a picture with him – one that Ronaldinho posted on his Instagram story before Cash even shared on his socials.
The full-back said he enjoyed his chat with the former Brazil star, adding: ‘He was really nice, just a normal guy really. He was staying at the hotel I was staying in and I met his son as well.
The defender will be in action for Aston Villa when the Premier League returns on Boxing Day
‘He said congratulations and well done to me, he watches it all and was such a nice guy. It was class.’
Poland managed to progress from the group stages at the World Cup, but were undone by Kylian Mbappe in the last-16. His two goals saw Cash’s tournament come to end in a 3-1 defeat.
Cash will now get ready to return to Premier League action when Aston Villa resume their campaign on Boxing Day against Liverpool.