Juventus centre-back Giorgio Chiellini has offered his advice on the best ways to defend against Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, and in the case of the Barcelona forward has recommended asking for divine intervention.
The Italian defender is one of the most experienced and composed in Europe and last season Chiellini came up against both Ronaldo and Messi in the Champions League.
His Juventus side were able to get past Ronaldo and Real Madrid in the semi- finals but fell 3-1 to Barcelona and Messi in the final.
The 31-year-old has now given tips on how best to defend against the two best current players in world football but, while Chiellini bring some decent thoughts on how to stop Ronaldo, the defender has advised on praying to stop Messi.
Chiellini did have some thoughts on the overall art of defending as well, and believes that experiences and studying your opposition is crucial to success.
Speaking to Eurosport Italia Chiellini said: “In the last few years the role of the defender has been re-evaluated. Everyone has to be good at understanding their role.
“Experience helps you to read certain situations better and make less mistakes in terms of behaviour. Knowledge of the opponent is essential, too, individually as well as the team.
“How do you mark Cristiano Ronaldo? You try not to leave him alone, don’t let him shoot on his right foot. And Lionel Messi? Just make the sign of the cross.”
“When you are marking Messi, you better start praying…
“Jokes aside, every player has his own characteristics and can be analysed psychologically.”
Chiellini also looked back on last season’s Champions League final defeat at the hands of Barcelona and conceded Juventus could have put in a stronger performance.
“We could have won the Champions League final, we had the chances to do it,” he added.
“We could have played better, we did not put in the perfect performance.
“But I am convinced we will get another chance in the near future.”
The Italian international has featured in 21 Serie A games this season for Juventus, helping the club return to the top of the division after a shaky start to the campaign.
Messi and Ronaldo meanwhile have continued their battle in La Liga. Although Barcelona sit atop the league and are 12 points clear of Real, Ronaldo has 27 goals this season in the competition compared to Messi’s 21.
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