Freddy Adu reminisces over playing Lionel Messi at Under 20s World Cup

In a recent interview, former wonder-kid, Freddy Adu, made a stunning revelation about playing against Lionel Messi.

At the peak of his powers, the now-retired American international looked to have the capabilities to become one of the best players on the planet.

At the mere age of 14, the forward signed for DC United, and in his first season made 30 appearances, in which he recorded five goals and four assists.

However, struggling to live up to his initial hype, Adu never reached the pinnacle of the sport. The American’s tale is a sad one. Born with immense talent, he could’ve been special, but the bright lights took their toll.

When the pressure is on, it’s not easy to perform, especially when you’re still in high school. Alas, it didn’t work out for Adu, but he still treasures the memories of his glory days.

Read: Five underdog sides to watch out for at the 2022 World Cup (

Freddy Adu discusses squaring off against Lionel Messi

In 2005, Adu was brimming with confidence, but during an encounter against Argentina, he realised that there was one man who stood out above every player on the planet, including himself.

The 33-year-old remembered, “It was 2005, in Holland for the U20 World Cup and I was 16 at the time, and that’s when Messi didn’t even start the game against us.

“But Messi came on in the second half, and that was the day that even I had to admit that there was a player that was better than I was, and that was Messi.”

YouTube video

“He was so good in that game,” he continued. “I was thinking ‘Oh my God!’ because everyone at the time was saying ‘Freddy this, Freddy that’, and I was a very confident player at the top of my game at the time, but Messi was just better.

“He proved it in that tournament. They went on to win the tournament, and Messi just destroyed everybody. We actually went on to win that game 1-0, but after that game, we all said that he was going to be unreal.”

He concluded, “he didn’t even start that game was the crazy part!”

Featured Image Credit: Getty images