Andy Robertson has aired his regret at having ruffled the hair of Lionel Messi, “the best player that’s ever played this game”, during Liverpool’s famous Champions League fight-back against Barcelona.
With emotions running high on a memorable European night at Anfield, the Scottish full-back tangled with the Argentine icon early on.
As both men ended up on the deck, Robertson could not help having a sly pop at Messi as he got back to his feet.
The six-time Ballon d’Or winner did not take kindly to the actions of the Reds defender, but anything goes in the heat of battle.
Robertson concedes as much, with Jurgen Klopp’s side fully focused on efforts that eventually delivered a stunning 4-0 win, but admits he would not repeat his actions if put in the same situation again.
He told That Peter Crouch Podcast, which is available via BBC Sounds and BBC Radio 5 Live: “Me and Fabinho were tracking him [Messi] back, we both ended up on the ground.
“I just ruffled his hair a wee bit, he wasn’t too happy but it’s something I wouldn’t do again, that’s for sure. It’s just disrespectful to the best player that’s ever played this game.
“That game was like, in the changing room, I’ve never seen a changing room like it. We were so pumped up for the game, and unfortunately it happened too early didn’t it?
“He was on the ground, I was on the ground. I don’t know what came over me! I do regret it, but it’s something everyone relates to me now, which isn’t the best.
“If I was thinking it wouldn’t have been done. I wasn’t thinking clearly.”
After dumping out Messi and Barca, Robertson went on to help Liverpool to a 2-0 victory over domestic rivals Tottenham in the 2019 Champions League final.
He has added UEFA Super Cup and Club World Cup medals to his collection in 2019-20 and would welcome the opportunity to see out his playing days on Merseyside.
The 26-year-old Glasgow native is, however, prepared to admit that heading back to his roots at Celtic may be too good an opportunity turn down if it ever presented itself.
Robertson added: “If you asked me now what I’d want to do, I’d love to retire at Liverpool of course, but you know how hard it is to play at the highest of levels until you’re 35-36.
“I’d love to pull on the Celtic top and walk out at Parkhead. Do I want to go back at one point to even just live? Yeah, maybe.”