Reuters

Giorgio Chiellini: Defending against Lionel Messi? 'You cross yourself and pray'

Chiellini: Defending against Messi? 'You cross yourself and pray'

10/03/2016 at 13:40Updated 10/03/2016 at 15:07

Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini has identified a key difference when he was asked to compare playing against Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

The 31-year-old respects both players but is very clear about which of the La Liga superstars he believes is the harder to play against.

“Because then you can know their characteristics better.

" With Cristiano Ronaldo you mark him trying to not let him inside on the right. With Messi… you cross yourself and pray!"

Chiellini is hoping to help Juventus reach a second successive Champions League final with his side having drawn 2-2 at home against Bayern Munich in the first leg of their last-16 clash.

The veteran Italian missed last year’s final against Barcelona with his side losing 3-1 to Lionel Messi and Co, but he believes Juventus can improve from the experience.

"We could have won [against Barcelona] with the opportunities we had. We could have done better and did not play the perfect match.

"But if we get our chances this year we will be ready."

OUR VIEW

It is often said that Ronaldo is more direct and predictable in his attacking approach than Messi, something which Chiellini alluded to in his answer. While defenders can have a clear plan against Ronaldo, it appears to be much more complex to approach facing the elusive Messi.

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