Any team preparing to play Barcelona needs to draw up a game plan for Lionel Messi.
Sure, you’d be naive to think the Blaugrana are some sort of a one-man team, although they’re not far off, but there can be no denying that Messi is the main threat for anyone travelling to Camp Nou.
With over 600 goals for the Catalans and six Ballon d’Or trophies in his collection, Messi has raised his football standards to extra-terrestrial levels over a stellar 16-year career.
And when he can dribble through virtually every midfield and defence in the world, you know that the world’s best coaches are going to draft specific tactics to try and keep him under wraps.
Man-marking Messi has become a common theme over the years, while other teams mob him whenever he gets possession and others try to stop the midfield giving him the ball in the first place.
And while, yes, there have been instances where Messi has dropped off the radar, we’d be lying if we said there weren’t more examples of him defying whatever shackles he’s been placed in.
It would bring a certain satisfaction to fans of Messi and Barcelona when they watch a plan that has been drilled into teams for a whole week or month completely unravel with one dribble and shot.
Enter ‘MagicalMessi’. Anyone who has ever sought after a Messi compilation on YouTube will recognise this content creator’s username and that’s because his edits are second to none.
Messi foiling plans to stop him
Every other week, they put Messi’s brilliance under the microscope with a particular theme and their latest compilation is – you guessed it – the Barca star ruining plans to stop him.
The montage contains eight minutes of players and managers alike hypothesising on how to keep Messi out of the game or, in some cases, them admitting that it’s simply impossible.
Those clips are then followed by footage of Messi embarrassing the very same player in question or unraveling the very tactic to stop him that particular managers had claimed they would try.
It’s a brilliant concept and a superb edit to match it, so check out the full video down below:
Even some of the best-laid plans can go awry.
It’s fantastic to see world-class managers like Diego Simeone and Arsene Wenger essentially admitting that Messi can’t be defended against, even though others might try.
Plus, you’ve got to applaud national and club rivals like Thiago Silva tipping their hat to Messi having known time and time again that he’s near enough impossible to stop in his pomp.
And above everything else, it goes to show that just about every plan to contain him, even if they might work on the odd occasion, comes with absolutely no guarantee of success.
There’s just no hope for most teams on the planet when Messi can terrorise Pep Guardiola’s Bayern Munich, Jose Mourinho’s Real Madrid and Simeone’s Atletico to name just a few.
Simply put, the normal rules and tactics of football just don’t apply when you’re facing Messi.