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Chelsea's Matic: Marek Hamsik is the toughest I've played against, like Messi

Chelsea midfielder Nemanja Matic has identified Marek Hamsik as his toughest ever opponent.

Chelsea midfielder Nemanja Matic has had a great start to his second spell at Stamford Bridge, making his role look easy.

But it is not always that way, the Serbian has ended up on the losing team on more than one occasion, but maintains the toughest opponent he has faced is not one he has met in the Premier League yet.

Instead he names Napoli star Marek Hamsik as the best opponent he has come up against, along with, of course, the irrepressible Lionel Messi.

Tuttomercato report the Serbian as saying: "I've played against so many great players. I like the way Marek Hamsik of Napoli plays, it was very difficult to control in the midfield. As well as Messi, this is obvious. "

Slovakian international Marek Hamsik came up against Chelsea in their run to their Champions League win in 2012, playing for Napoli where he remains, on a contract until 2018.

The box-to-box midfielder has six goals and six assists this campaign playing under former Chelsea boss Rafa Benitez, and has plenty of admirers, but the prospects of him being allowed to go remain slim.

Yet if you were looking for a perfect replacement for Frank Lampard in the Chelsea midfield, Matic may just have pinpointed the perfect player in 26-year-old Hamsik.

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