Markus Babbel was left thinking of Lionel Messi after a moment of genius from Keanu Baccus in Saturday’s pre-season thriller with Leeds United.
Baccus shone against the EFL Championship giants as Western Sydney Wanderers celebrated their emotional return to Parramatta on the weekend, despite the 2-1 friendly loss.
The highlight of the 21-year-old’s display was a superb driving run and perfectly threaded pass for Kwame Yeboah’s 48th minute equaliser, a moment that had shades of the Barcelona and Argentina great for Wanderers boss Babbel.
"What a pass,” said the ex-Liverpool and Bayern Munich defender.
“If Messi was doing this then people would talk 14 days about this. So, a fantastic ball.”
Mitch Duke and teenager Daniel Wilmering were also standouts for the Wanderers coach from a game he hailed as 'gold' for his side's Hyundai A-League 2019/20 season preparations.
“Mitch (Duke), how hard he was working against these top defenders, always trying to hold the ball so we can breathe again," he said.
"Daniel Wilmering on the left-side is only 18 years old but he was playing fantastic.
“It was a great team performance. Of course, we did mistakes but we were there for each other, that's why we had luck on our side.
"This game is gold for us, from the pace, from the mentality and how we played... it is gold for us."