Pablo Maffeo and Lionel Messi spent much of the evening together as Barcelona inflicted a 0-3 defeat on Girona in the first league meeting between the two sides. Two own goals (by Aday and Gorka Iraizoz) and Luis Suárez' 87th goal in his 100th LaLiga appearance stretched Barça's lead at the summit of the Primera División to four points.
Messi manmarked by Maffeo
The 20-year-old followed the orders of his coach Pablo Machín and man-marked Messi at the Estadi Montilivi.
In the mixed-zone following the match, Maffeo disclosed the conversations he and Messi had during play.
"He asked me if I was on loan from [Manchester] City and my age. He's very humble. We were talking because I was stuck to him for almost all of the match. There was no bad feeling or anything strange. He's the best player in the world and if you don't stick to him, he'll score against you in any given moment."
Ter Stegen's shirt goes home
Asked whether he would be taking Messi's shirt home with him, Maffeo said no. Instead, he swapped for Marc-Andre Ter Stegen's No.1 shirt, and there is a simple explanation: a friend is a fan of the Barça 'keeper.
"I was clear that I wanted Ter Stegen's shirt. I was good with Messi, but friends are sacred," explained Maffeo.