Football

Messi left Boateng for dust during last season's encounter at the Camp Nou.

Jerome Boateng: Ronaldo and Messi can sense and prey on defenders' fear

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Bayern Munich centre-back Jerome Boateng has revealed what it's like to play against Barcelona's Lionel Messi and Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Germany international was famously turned inside out by the Argentine wizard last season before he struck a vital goal at the Camp Nou when Bayern lost 3-0 in the Champions League semi-finals.

Boateng was also on the receiving end of a 4-0 drubbing at the Allianz Arena from Ronaldo and co. in 2014, the Portuguese striking twice and steering his side into the final, where they beat rivals Atletico Madrid.

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Stopping Messi and Ronaldo in full stride is by no means an easy feat, with Boateng attempting to explain just how hard a task it is.

He said, according to Goal: "With Ronaldo or Messi, whatever option you choose is difficult if they come at you with open space. They’re just so fast.”

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The centre-back also pinpointed Neymar as another tricky customer for defenders and believes height plays a big part in the Brazilian's - and Messi's - game.

"Neymar and Messi are low to the ground and can turn quickly, so it’s difficult for defenders like me, who are tall centre-backs.

"Ronaldo, he’s got the height, but he’s also got incredible speed, strength and a good header. You can’t be lazy or caught on the heels with those players, because they will win and they will score.”

The 27-year-old continued to emphasise the importance of confidence when coming up against the world's best, who prey on the nerves and weaknesses of their opposition.

FBL-EUR-C1-GER-ESP-BAYERN-BARCELONA

"More than speed or technique, though, as a defender you need confidence.

"Ronaldo, Messi, Suarez, Neymar - they can all smell if you’re afraid to duel with them. One whiff and then they destroy you. So you gotta show up."

Boateng is currently out injured with a groin injury suffered at the end of January.

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Topics:
Cristiano Ronaldo
Barcelona
Bayern Munich
Real Madrid
Lionel Messi
Football

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