Soccer: Berlusconi wants two men on Messi
Milan face Barcelona in Champions League last 1619 February, 16:14
(ANSA) - Rome, February 19 - AC Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi said coach Massimiliano Allegri should have two men keeping tabs on Argentine ace Lionel Messi in Wednesday's Champions League last-16 first leg against Barcelona at the San Siro Stadium.
Berlusconi suggested putting a man marker on the four-time Ballon d'Or winner on Monday.
The idea was dismissed by several figures in the game, including Juventus boss Antonio Conte, who said a "rifle" was needed to stop Messi, not man-marking.
So former Italian premier Berlusconi, who is leading the centre right's campaign for next Sunday and Monday's general election, upped the ante on Tuesday. "You stop Messi with two men on top of him," Berlusconi told Radio 105, adding that French midfielder Mathieu Flamini could mark the danger man with the help of Ghanaian teammate Sulley Muntari. "Maybe you have one player each half. If one gets too tired, the other takes over". Allegri said he "willingly" accepted Berlusconi's tips, but did not commit himself to applying them.
"It's clear that I see the squad every day and I'll give the lads their instructions on how best to face Barcelona," the coach told a press conference.
"Messi makes a difference (for his team) but he's not the only one. "(Spain midfielder Andres) Iniesta is one of the best assist providers in the world. We'll have to be good at marking them and limiting them".