Jose Mourinho Says Liverpool Need 'To Create A Cage' To Stop Lionel Messi
How do you stop Lionel Messi? Well, Jose Mourinho has told Liverpool what to do in order to stop the Barcelona talisman.
Messi's enjoying an ultra-prolific campaign. He continued his incredible goal-scoring ways against Manchester United by bagging a brace.
Lionel Messi, breaking ankles and bamboozling defenders :cold_sweat:
- Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 17, 2019
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was unable to stop Messi with ex-Manchester United manager Mourinho offering some words of advice to Jurgen Klopp ahead of Liverpool's European tie against the mighty Barcelona.
"Messi is having a phenomenal season and now with Juventus and Cristiano Ronaldo outside this fight, he knows also that the golden ball is there waiting for him," Mourinho said.
"Messi is easy to understand, but it's not easy to create a cage to control him, because he comes from the right, but then stays in the middle. It's very difficult."
Leo Messi now has 24 goals in 32 games against English clubs...#UCL pic.twitter.com/7KhChlo1GP
- UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) April 16, 2019
He's warned Liverpool that they cannot go man-to-man against Messi and says Klopp needs 'to create a cage'.
"When Messi has the ball, one, one, one, you are dead. That's why I never liked the individual man-to-man against Messi. Messi is a cage. You have to create a cage," he added.
Klopp has never faced Messi in a competitive match in his managerial career but his first meeting against him awaits.
Meanwhile, Liverpool's commanding defender Virgil van Dijk has sound off on facing the Argentine maestro.
"I don't know, we'll see," he said when asked how he plans to stop Messi. "It's going to be a great match-up for all of us.
"Obviously we're very happy to be in the semi-final again and that's the only thing I can say.
"It's about doing it all together, it's never one versus one, it's never just me against a particular striker.
"It's always us against everyone and I think that's the only way we can defend well.
"It's going to be very hard and I think he's the best player in the world but we'll see."
Barcelona host Liverpool on May 1 with the return leg on May 8.
Who's heading to Madrid? Let us know who you think.