Chris Smalling rammed into Lionel Messi when the two met in the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals, leaving the latter with a bloody nose. Such as the impact of Smalling’s tackle that Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde compared it to a truck.
The Manchester United man has now himself revealed that the tackle didn’t create any bad feelings between himself and Lionel Messi, who simply shook hands and acknowledged the coming together as an accident.
“Yeah we spoke after. I didn’t realise at the time actually that I had caught him like that,” Smalling told BBC Radio 5 live.
“But after the game we had a brief chat, shook hands and he said he knew it was an accident.”
The England international also revealed that he shook hands with former rival Luis Suarez as well, with both exchanging pleasant words with each other.
“Suarez after as well, we had a good tussle and he just shook my hand after and said good luck and we just said good luck.
“So it’s nice when you can have that battle on the pitch and then obviously there’s full respect after the game because ultimately you’re just trying to do your best and enjoy the game.”
Meanwhile, Lionel Messi and Barcelona did have the last laugh as they beat Manchester United by a goal to nil. They now face a visit from the Red Devils on April 16 in the second leg of the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals.