Cillian Sheridan recalls the time he ‘told Lionel Messi to f**k off’

Cillian Sheridan is somewhat of an anomaly. It’s rare that an Irish footballer’s career takes him to places like Bulgaria, Cyprus and Poland. Most exports from the Emerald Isle are happy to remain in Britain, plying their trade in familiar environments such as England and Scotland. But Sheridan has embraced the idea of globetrotting from an early age.

It’s because of this adventurous spirit that the Baileborough man found himself playing against Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain and Ajax for APOEL in the Champions League back in 2014, which is not something many Irishmen can claim. Rarer still, is the man who can say he told Lionel Messi to “fuck off”.

Sheridan is one of those men.

In an interview with Jonathan Drennan, which appeared in the Guardian, the former Celtic striker revealed that he “inadvertently” told the five-time Ballon d’Or winner what he could do with himself.

“You play in a situation like that and it’s almost like it’s too much for your brain to process,” said the Cavan man.

“The Nou Camp is an incredible place, because you actually have to climb up into the stadium. You feel like you’re going into a coliseum with all of the noise. Then there’s the surreal part: you’re in the tunnel, there’s Neymar, there’s Messi, you name it, but it’s funny, once the whistle blows, you forget yourself.

“I remember getting annoyed at something in the game and telling the player to fuck off. Then, when you come off the pitch you realise you’ve inadvertently told Lionel Messi to fuck off. You just lose yourself.”

Sheridan’s exploits on the European continent have caught the attention of Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill and the Boys in Green boss might well be impressed by the 28-year-old’s attitude.

The interview with Sheridan includes discussion about an international recall, Celtic and is well worth a read. Check it out here.

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