It is not often that a defence is able to stop FC Barcelona and Argentina superstar Lionel Messi, but one manager at the highest level has explained how his team did just that.
Many consider Messi to be one of the greatest footballers ever to have played the game, but when the 31-year-old went up against Croatia at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, he was unable to inspire his Argentine teammates to a win.
Zlatko Dalic’s side defeated the Albiceleste 3-0 in their group-stage match, and the Bosnian has now explained just how his players denied Messi a chance to impact proceedings.
“For me, Leo Messi is the best player in the world and is showing it week after week,” he said, according to Tribuna.
“It’s harder for Messi with Argentina than Barcelona and for that we tried to explain what we considered small weaknesses in the Argentine team.
“The key was to be disciplined and follow our tactical plan and the players did just that. We tried to avoid the ball getting to Messi and we stopped it quickly in the areas where he likes to get the ball.
“Despite the fact Messi is a great player, the best, football is a team sport and if one team is doing better than the other, it’s hard for one individual to change everything.
“Croatia were a better team than Argentina in that game.”
The Croats made it all the way to the final of the World Cup in Russia before losing 4-2 to victors France.