Alan Smith says Tottenham target Josko Gvardiol was 'taken to the cleaners' by Lionel Messi
Photo by Stefan Matzke - sampics/Corbis via Getty Images

Alan Smith says Tottenham target Josko Gvardiol was 'taken to the cleaners' by Lionel Messi

Alan Smith says reported Tottenham Hotspur target Josko Gvardiol was ‘taken to the cleaners’ by Lionel Messi when Argentina battered Croatia in the semi-final of the World Cup on Tuesday.

The Albiceleste were the favourites going into the game and their performance showed why. They were absolutely fantastic and Messi, once again, stole the show.

Sadly for young Gvardiol, it was at his expense.

Photo by Stefan Matzke – sampics/Corbis via Getty Images

Alan Smith says Tottenham target Josko Gvardiol was ‘taken to the cleaners’ by Lionel Messi

Messi rolled back the years against Croatia on Tuesday.

The PSG superstar opened the scoring from the spot and was brilliant all game, but the moment that made everyone stand up and applaud came in the 68th minute.

Messi took on the impressive Gvardiol on the right flank and made it look easy. He drove at him with the ball at his feet and ended up bamboozling him, before setting up Julian Alvarez for his second.

Alan Smith, who was on commentary duty alongside Peter Drury for the broadcast of the game on Jio Cinema, was truly blown away by the Argentine and how he took Gvardiol ‘to the cleaners.’

He said: “This is miraculous, I mean he’s boxed in tight on the touchline. How on earth does he slip by Gvardiol? After that, he beats the defender again. This is classic Messi, isn’t it?

“We thought maybe he couldn’t do this anymore at his age, but he’s reminding us that he’s still got it on the big stage, on the big occasion, when it matters most. What a moment in the World Cup this is, for Messi, for Argentina – absolutely superb.

“Spellbinding from Lionel Messi. Gvardiol, who has been one of the defenders of the tournament, was taken to the cleaners.”

Photo by Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Offside via Getty Images

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Gvardiol has long been linked with a move to sign for Tottenham, with rumours claiming that Antonio Conte really wants him at Spurs.

Tuttomercatoweb even reported that summer signing Ivan Perisic is trying to convince his compatriot to join him at Tottenham as he looks set for a move away from RB Leipzig in 2023.

Gvardiol has been magnificent at the World Cup, but unfortunately for the defender, most people will only remember how Messi toyed with him before picking up an assist.

That, however, is nothing to be ashamed of – Messi has done the same or worse to much better players over the years.

Gvardiol has proven that he’s capable of performing at the highest level, and if Spurs get an opportunity to sign him, they should do everything they can to get that deal done.

Photo by Stefan Matzke – sampics/Corbis via Getty Images

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