Barcelona's Lionel Messi has faced 'crazy ways' to stop him from rival players

  • Kobe Tong

Lionel Messi is every defender’s nightmare.

Some of the greatest centre-backs to ever play the beautiful game have vouched for how near-impossible it is to stop Messi when he’s at the top of his game.

There are times when the ball seems to be superglued to his boots, dribbling past player after player and finding the net more often than not when he bears down on the goalkeeper.

As a result, defenders often make wholesale changes to how they would usually defend against world-class forwards simply because Messi is a completely different beast.

An increase in fouls and aggression is often the solution for some, but countless teams have tried to rough up Messi and the evidence suggests the success rate is pretty darn low.

How to stop Messi?

Man-marking him has failed time and time again, immediately surrounding him when he gains possession just benefits his creativity and letting him deep only fuels his eye for a pass.

So, when the usual tactics are off the table, you can bet that managers and defenders have constructed unique ways, some more successful than others, to get the upper hand.

And that’s exactly what YouTuber ‘Messi TheBoss’ explored in a brilliant compilation from March, aptly titled: ‘Crazy Ways Players & Teams Try To Stop Messi’.

Crazy ways to stop Messi

We can assume from the thumbnail that the video was inspired by Real Sociedad’s unique approach to neutralising Messi’s proficiency from free-kicks by flooding the penalty area.

But that is by no means the only way opposition teams have gotten creative when it comes to Messi with everything from the classic two-footer to marking him from penalties being used.

Don’t just take our word for it, though, and check out the full compilation down below:

It’s crazy how many times Messi has been walloped by Real Madrid players in particular.

You get the feeling that Sergio Ramos and Pepe just about tried every trick in the book to intimidate the Barcelona superstar from whispering abuse in his ear to simply wiping him out from behind.

But some of the most entertaining examples are when defenders have become acutely aware of previous moments of Messi magic by taking steps to prevent a repeat occurrence.

That’s perhaps most amusingly apparent when defenders could be seen blatantly blocking off Messi while Luis Suarez was taking a spot kick, just in case they executed the pass-penalty again.  

In fairness to the defenders, a lot of these tactics have caused disruptions by simply removing Messi from his routine, but it goes without saying that most strategies prove futile.

Regardless, though, Messi can take it as the ultimate compliment that opposition players and teams have gone through so much thinking and effort to stop him and stop hime alone.

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