Sir Alex Ferguson has listed down his advice to stop the phenomenon, Lionel Messi.
Manchester United will take on Barcelona in the Champions League Quarterfinals at Old Trafford on Wednesday night. They have a monumental task in dealing with the leading scorer in Barcelona’s history, Lionel Messi.
In the hopes of restricting the forward from getting the freedom to run over the midfield and defence, current Red Devils manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could borrow his old boss Sir Alex Ferguson’s tactics to stop Lionel Messi on Wednesday.
This is the first time the English outfit meet Barcelona after the Champions League finals at Wembley in 2011. The Argentine International ran the show that night and will once again lead the Blaugrana as he looks to take lead to Nou Camp.
Legendary boss Sir Alex Ferguson worked on this formula in 2013 after going down to Barcelona in the European cup tie finals two years ago.
“You need centre-backs who are prepared to drop right on top of Messi and not worry about what is happening behind them,” the Scot wrote in his 2013 autobiography.
“He will drift away to the side. That’s fine. He’s less of a threat on the side than he is through the centre.
“After the inquest I told myself: ‘When we play Barcelona next time in a Champions League final, I would have Jones and Smalling, or Smalling and Evans, right on top of Messi. I wasn’t going to let him torture us again.”
The likes of Chris Smalling and Phil Jones are still in contention for the game, however, Lindelof could partner either of these two in the hopes of stopping him from getting on the scoresheet.
The 31-year-old has scored 33 times in La Liga and added another six goals in just 10 Champions League matches to date.
Chris Smalling is likely to take on Ferguson’s challenge and he admits he is relishing the prospect.
“I’ve not played against him competitively, personally, but in friendlies and pre-season we have,” he said about Messi.
“I’m looking forward to playing against him and hopefully minimising as many chances as possible, because we know what a world-class player he is.”
Here’s how Twitter reacted..
Sir Alex Ferguson worked out a plan to stop Lionel Messi and it involves the CB’s doing one crucial thing… 😳👏
Surely Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has to try this! 🙌https://t.co/Tf5e5GvIZp
— SPORTbible (@sportbible) April 10, 2019
— Cleansheet (@Cleansheet) April 10, 2019
“You need centre backs who are prepared to drop right on top of Messi and not worry about what is happening behind them,” Sir Alex Ferguson’s advice to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on how to stop Lionel Messi. pic.twitter.com/LFJMRxMhxU
— Black J🌚 (@OfficialblackJ) April 10, 2019
Sir Alex Ferguson’s advice to stop Lionel Messi https://t.co/41d9f8mwPw
mirror: Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could heed Sir Alex Ferguson’s advice when tackling Barcelona .
United face the La Liga leaders in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-fin…
— Nigeriaonlineguide (@Nigerian_guide) April 10, 2019
Manchester United will take on Barcelona in the Champions League Quarterfinals, followed by the clash against West Ham United in the Premier League on Saturday.