Inter Milan defender Alessandro Bastoni has a plan to stop Erling Haaland in Champions League final
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Inter Milan defender Alessandro Bastoni has the unenviable task of coming up against Erling Haaland in this weekend's Champions League final, but it sounds like he's got a plan.
Manchester City come into Saturday's showpiece event at Istanbul's Ataturk Olympic Stadium as overwhelming favourites.
Pep Guardiola's side, who recently lifted the Premier League title, have already swept aside Real Madrid and Bayern Munich in the latter stages of this season's tournament as they aim for a historic treble.
But their Italian opponents will be hoping to capitalise on their busy schedule.
Ahead of Saturday night's clash, Inter Milan centre-back Alessandro Bastoni has made some interesting comments about City during a press conference.
“We’ve seen a lot of City’s games, we know their value and we know that bringing them too close to our game can give us problems," the Italian said. "We will analyse better in the next few days, so far we were thinking about the league.”
Although it sounds like he plays down Inter's preparations for Saturday's game, Bastoni admitted to having a plan for record-breaking striker Erling Haaland.
“They bought him to win the Champions League. But City are not just him, there are many players who can put us in trouble," the 24-year-old said.
“I have seen videos of Rudiger, we will try to take his example. But it’s not Haaland-Inter, it’s City-Inter. And we will try to stop them.”
Haaland was limited to just 21 touches in last month's Champions League semi-final clash at the Bernabeu thanks, in part, to the touch-tight defending of Antonio Rudiger.
The German centre-back used his physicality to shut down the attacking threat of Haaland, who was handed a 3/10 rating from Spanish publication Marca for the outing.
Bastoni clearly wants to use some of those tactics to disturb Haaland's game and it's clear he fears nobody; even one of the world's best forwards.
When speaking of fearing City, he said: “Scared of murderers, thieves. Not of boys my age. We need to go out on the pitch and play football, with a clear mind.”
He added: “It’s normal that they are favourites. There is no fear, but the right tension, since we were seven or eight years old we all dreamed of playing a game like this. I can’t wait to get on the pitch.”