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."

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