Lyon Boss Reveals His 'Anti-Messi Plan' For Champions League Match With Barcelona
Lyon boss Bruno Génésio has spoken ahead of his side's Champions League clash with Barcelona, saying that his team are developing a plan to stop Lionel Messi.
The Barça captain has remained in brilliant form this season and manager Ernesto Valverde will be relying on the 31-year-old Argentine forward to inspire the Spanish club to the final of the tournament.
However, Génésio is well aware of the tough test that the Ligue 1 side faces against the reigning La Liga champions and has an "anti-Messi plan" in place.
"The anti-Messi plan will be rather collective, where we will all have to respond," he said (via Le Progrès).
"We will have to strengthen the midfield and the pressure around Messi.
"If you do individual marking to a man like him, at some point it will make a difference.
"And then, there is another aspect. We must defend well when we do not have possession of the ball."
The first leg will be held at the Lyon Olympic Stadium next Tuesday, with the return leg to take place at the Camp Nou next month.
While Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has previously said that the club are building for life without Messi, the 56-year-old Spaniard has no intention of letting him leave any time soon.
In fact, Bartomeu is confident that the five-time Ballon d'Or winner will sign a new deal with the club, despite the fact that the Argentina captain has previously expressed his desire to end his career at Newell's Old Boys.
"Leo Messi will continue with us," Bartomeu told RKB.
"He is a club player and the relationship will continue forever.
"He has told us that he wants to continue. We have offered him a new contract over five years and I hope we will continue discussing the deal."
At the age of 31, there's no denying that the Barcelona talisman is far off from retiring.
However, former Real Madrid player Álvaro Arbeloa recently claimed that he was "counting down the days" for Messi to retire.
Barcelona are at the top of La Liga and they are six points clear of second-place Real Madrid.
Lyon, on the other hand, are third in Ligue 1 and are 16 points behind league leaders Paris Saint-Germain.
:astonished: When you realise you have to face #Messi in training :goat: pic.twitter.com/2N0ANtLOYM
- FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) 14 February 2019
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