This is a question that seems to be dominating headlines on The Sun, The Daily Star, The Mirror, Express and, you know, The Sun (or did we say that already?) The Sun would have us believe the Sir Alex Ferguson has employed his brother and ManU’s European Scout Martin Ferguson to
stalkstudy Leo Messi over the last 2 years. Yes, for two long years, ever since Leo Messi leapt up like a performing seal and headed that ball home for that second goal in Rome, The Sun tells us poor Martin has been poring over videos, photos & collectible mugs in the hope of discovering a weakness. “Ferguson has statistics and information even the Argentinian maestro may not know about himself” concludes the article on a rather ominous note, laying the groundwork for a possible invasion of privacy lawsuit. We don’t know, Mr. Martin could’ve just stopped by and asked us folks at FcbFanDrivel instead, and spent those two years on the beach drinking pina coladas. Here, we exclusively reveal the five best ways to stop Leo Messi. Bet Mr. Martin is feeling like a silly ass now.
Ignore the Jose: We hear Jose Mourinho has been offering Sir Ferguson free advice as to how to do the needful. Our advice? Ignore the Jose. If he knew, you’d reckon he would have won more than just one game this year against Barca out ot five. He’s just messing with your brain, Sir Ferguson!
Don’t Man-Mark Messi: “Nobody is good enough to man-mark Messi”, says Bolton boss Allardyce, “Whenever Messi is in your area, you have to take responsibility for him”. We concur. Following him around like Mary’s little lamb is not a great idea, he’ll drag you all over the place. Just wait till he’s in your area and sit on him instead.
Choke the supply: And just to be sure, we don’t mean air supply, ala Carvalho, but ball supply. We offer this advice freely because it’s easier said than done. How do you stop Xavi (with eyes on the back of his head), Iniesta (who as we’ve established can walk through people) and Alves (who can be at multiple places at the same time) from sending one across to Leo? Ha!
“Don’t Stand Off Him”: Says Mail Online, and they have a point. They claim they understand how tempting it is to stand back and gape when Messi is doing his thing, but they feel the admiration has to be kept to a strict minimum on the field. You can always watch DVDs later. If it’s all happening too fast for you, just throw yourself in the general direction of the blur, and hope you’ve stopped him. Without getting a red card. If you do get a red card, don’t forget to shake your head disbelievingly and flash sarcastic thumbs up signs at the referee. Might come in handy for Sir Ferguson in the post match press conference.
Don’t take him on alone: Do it in a crowd. You know those YouTube videos that go viral with millions of hits, with Messi dancing around a defender and making him look very sill indeed? Well, you don’t want to be that guy. Do it in a pack. That way everyone gets to look silly, and that isn’t half as bad.