Football

Giorgio Chiellini on Marking Lionel Messi: You Make the Sign of the Cross and Pray

Giorgio Chiellini on Marking Lionel Messi: You Make the Sign of the Cross and Pray

Giorgio Chiellini insists all you can do when trying to mark Lionel Messi is make a sign of the cross and pray.

The Juventus defender made the funny comment when he was comparing what it was like to take on Cristiano Ronaldo compared to the Barcelona attacker.

Chiellini could end up coming up against either of the players if his Juve side manage to beat Bayern Munich next week and advance to the Champions League quarter-finals.

Although he realises both have their talents, he does admit that there is a difference when it comes to marking them.

According to Chiellini, defenders must force Ronaldo on to his left foot to stop him doing damage in games.

But, as for Messi, you have to simply pray he doesn’t do damage.

Speaking at an event in Turin, Chiellini said, via espnfcasia.com: “Knowing all about your opponents is fundamental, even the individuals.

“It helps you understand their characteristics. Cristiano Ronaldo is a player you mark by trying to prevent him from coming inside on his right foot. As for Messi, you just make the sign of the cross and pray.

“Joking aside, each player has his own characteristics and you’ve got to make this kind of analysis.”

To be fair to Chiellini, we can’t disagree with him as Messi does look unstoppable at times.

He’s got 35 goals in 35 games already this season and is on course to pass the 40-goal mark for the seventh year in a row.

But, being fair to Cristiano, he’s already passed 40 goals for this campaign, meaning he’s now beaten the 40-strike mark in every season since his first at Real Madrid.

We’re pretty sure there would need to be a lot of praying regardless of which player you come up against.

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