Juventus coach Max Allegri says he and his side have been thinking of a plan to stop Barcelona’s star Lionel Messi in Saturday’s Champions League final in Berlin. Barcelona and Juventus go head-to-head on Saturday night in the Champions League final, with the winners set to claim a historic treble. In this case, it seems that tries to assure himself that Barcelona “have weaknesses” and Lionel Messi is not “unstoppable”.
The Bianconeri boss told his pre-final media conference at Berlin’s Olympiastadion that he has been devising ways to slow Barca’s all-South American front three, while acknowledging his team would also have to score. Allegri mentioned that Saturday will be the time to exhibit a very different Barca from those his Milan sides faced eight times between 2010 and 2014 without winning a game.
Meanwhile, Messi has been in a rich vein of form through recent months, leading his side to the La Liga and Copa del Rey double so far with 58 goals in all competitions, including a superb solo strike in last weekend’s Copa del Rey final win over Athletic Bilbao. Barca have beaten the champions of England, France and Germany to reach this stage of the competition without ever really looking in trouble.
The coach admitted that Barcelona were “objectively the favourites”, insisting: “A team with players like Messi, Neymar and Suárez can never not be favourites.” Asked if Messi was unstoppable, as Pep Guardiola had claimed, Allegri replied: “I hope he’s stoppable tomorrow.” The Bianconeri will take on Messi and his teammates in Berlin tomorrow night, as they seek to win their first Champions League since 1996.
“Tomorrow night, everyone will give their all,” Allegri told the world’s media in the pre-match Press conference. It’s a one-off game, so we’ll have no chance to get revenge. We’ll have to be in the best physical condition, which we are, and the best mental condition, which we are. We’re playing against a team which has great individuals, and also a great collective. But, like every team, they have weaknesses.”
Allegri bemoaned the unfortunate injury picked up in training this week that means that first-choice centre-back Giorgio Chiellini will not be available to help try and nullify Barca’s attack. Chellini has underwent tests after reporting discomfort in his calf on Wednesday. The scan revealed a first grade tear of the soleus muscle in his left leg, meaning the defender will miss Saturday’s final with Barcelona
“Is Messi unstoppable? I hope tomorrow he’s stoppable. That’s what we’re here for, otherwise we’d do something else…,” added the Old Lady boss.