Paraguay's Messi challenge outlined by Berizzo

By Sports Desk June 19, 2019

Lionel Messi must be stopped by a collective effort from Paraguay in Wednesday's crunch Copa America clash, according to their head coach Eduardo Berizzo.

Both teams endured disappointing starts to the continental showpiece, with Paraguay letting a two-goal lead slip in their 2-2 draw against Qatar, while Argentina were abject in a 2-0 loss to Colombia.

As his quest for major honours with his country trudges on, Argentina will again look to Messi for inspiration and former Sevilla and Athletic Bilbao boss Berizzo concedes there is no easy solution when it comes to tackling the Barcelona superstar.

"To annul a player like Messi is not an individual task, it is a collective task," he told reporters ahead of taking on his native country.

"When you try to neutralise him, he opens the way [for others]. So the question is not centred only on him, but on the possibilities that are generated from him for other players."

Paraguay's late collapse against Qatar stung Berizzo and he wants to see a response from his players – particularly in terms of game management when they are in possession.

"We have talked about what happened and what we have to improve," he added.

"That is control of the ball and [making sure] that the process of the match does not escape us depending on the result.

"We have to sustain the plan from beginning to end."

Related items

  • Reported Arsenal target Izzo commits to Torino Reported Arsenal target Izzo commits to Torino

    Armando Izzo has signed a new contract at Torino, ending speculation he could move to the Premier League.

    Arsenal were reportedly interested in the centre-back, who has also been linked with Manchester United and Everton.

    But Izzo, who made his first Italy appearance in a Euro 2020 qualifier in March, has instead signed a new five-year deal with Torino.

    Speaking last month, the 27-year-old indicated he would commit to the Granata and he is thrilled to have agreed an extension.

    "Happy to continue with the Bull, with the same determination we will still face many battles together!!" Izzo wrote on Instagram.

    Torino, who finished seventh in Serie A last season, will play in the Europa League in 2019-20 due to AC Milan's ban.

    Walter Mazzarri's side face a qualifier against Hungarian outfit Debrecen, with the first leg to be played on Thursday.

  • Udinese sign Real Madrid striker Udinese sign Real Madrid striker

    Udinese have announced the signing of Cristo Gonzalez from Real Madrid.

    Gonzalez, 21, has agreed a five-year deal with the Serie A side, who are reported to have paid €1.5million.

    Madrid are said to have included both a buy-back clause and a sell-on fee in the deal for the striker.

    Gonzalez scored 21 goals for Real Madrid's reserves last term and hit his first senior goal for the club in a Copa del Rey win at Melilla.

    Madrid, meanwhile, are closing in on the signing of midfielder Alberto Soro, according to Real Zaragoza president Christian Lapetra.

    Soro will reportedly sign for Madrid in a €2.5m deal that could rise to around €5m, before returning to Zaragoza on loan.

  • Maldini: Modric would be 'perfect' but Milan did not bid for Madrid star Maldini: Modric would be 'perfect' but Milan did not bid for Madrid star

    Paolo Maldini insists AC Milan did not make an offer for Luka Modric this close season, although he admits the Real Madrid man would be "perfect" at San Siro.

    Modric is expected to stay at Madrid, where he has been since 2012, but the 33-year-old was linked with moves to Inter last year and rivals Milan in recent months.

    Maldini, acknowleding the midfielder's blend of experience and talent, says there was never any negotiation for the 2018 Ballon d'Or winner.

    "We never negotiated for Modric, but we've said to [coach Marco] Giampaolo this club are looking for good young players and some experienced ones," Rossoneri technical director Maldini told a news conference.

    "The growth of young players takes place through the presence of experienced players. Modric would be perfect here, but we've never negotiated for him."

    Maldini was speaking alongside Rade Krunic and Theo Hernandez as they were presented as Milan players on Friday.

    Hernandez, a left-back just as Maldini was in his playing days, was delighted to have joined Milan.

    "It is a real honour to be sitting next to [Maldini]," Hernandez said. "He will always be the best full-back in the world.

    "We met in Ibiza, where he had some very beautiful and sincere words for me. Since then, I have had the desire to join Milan. I trained hard to succeed and in the end I did it."

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.