Former Arsenal Captain Tells Chelsea How To Stop Lionel Messi Tonight

Published: March 14, 2018
Former Arsenal Captain Tells Chelsea How To Stop Lionel Messi TonightFormer France international William Gallas has revealed how he approached the job of marking Lionel Messi when Chelsea faced Barcelona in the Champions League twelve years ago.

Gallas was also in the Arsenal squad that were held to a 2-2 draw by the La Liga giants in the quarterfinals of the Champions League on March 31, 2010, where he played as a central defender.

''To be honest, I think I played maybe just two times against Lionel Messi, yes, he didn’t score but the first time he got injured after just 15 minutes in the Camp Nou,'' Gallas told

"For me, it was very important for me to compete against Messi, to know if I was a good defender. At this time Messi was still young but everyone was talking about Lionel Messi. I had seen some video of him and I thought, ‘oh my god, I am going to mark him.’

"So I tried to find the best solution to mark him. That’s why for the first 15 minutes I was very close to him because I knew I had the space to compete with him. What I knew as well was if I left him to get the ball and to run at me, I would have been in trouble.

"That’s why the whole time I was very close to him. Unfortunately, he was injured after 15 minutes and I wanted to know that I could do it for 90 minutes. I played against him again with Arsenal but he was not playing in my area, so that’s why I didn’t have the opportunity to mark him.''

Gallas was appointed Arsenal captain at the start of the 2007-08 season, but was stripped of the captaincy in November 2008 after verbally attacking his teammates.

Igho Kingsley

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