We previously covered Sir Alex Ferguson’s advise to Ole on how to stop Lionel Messi, now it’s Rio Ferdinand’s turn to offer his own advice on the matter.
The Man United legend was one of the best defenders to ever play the game and when he has a message on how to stop one of the all-time best, you pay heed.
According to Rio:
“Barca have a certain way of playing which is possession based football and they press you when they haven’t got the ball, so they (United) have got to be very mindful of that,” the former United defender told BT Sport .
“But it will come down to the little man, Messi. How do they stop him and combat him?
“They can’t afford to give him space. If they give him space to turn and front up he’s going to cause huge problems.
“What the players have to do is make sure they’re not in awe of him, he’s a superstar, a legend, one of the best to ever play the game but they’ve got to take that out of their thinking before the game and that’s half the job.
“Half the battle is the mental battle before the game, if they can sort that out.
“I’m sure Ole will have a plan for him (Messi) so he won’t be able to play 1v1 during the whole game.
“Ole has to be thinking about not conceding and hopefully nicking a goal and taking it to the Nou Camp and having something to play for.”
Of course, talking about is one thing and executing the tactics is another.
Hopefully, Lindelof and Smalling are paying attention to the advice of Sir Alex and Rio.