Cannavaro Berates Messi; Defends Casillas And Sergio Ramos

Fabio Cannavaro has criticised Lionel Messi following their El Clasico face-off last weekend.

Despite being hacked left, right, centre, front and back during the El Clasico battle with Real Madrid last Saturday, Barcelona star forward Lionel Messi has surprisingly received little sympathy. If anything, he has had to face criticism.

One of his personal adversaries last weekend was Fabio Cannavaro and the Los Blancos centreback is the latest to have a dig at the Argentine trickster, advising him to grumble less to referees on the pitch.

“I have seen players like Maradona getting kicked all the time in matches but he never complained,” Cannavaro told Radio Marca program, ‘La Futboleria’.

“With Messi, I have this feeling that he sometimes throws himself to the ground too easily. He has to stay on his feet a bit more and complain less,” he offered.

The World Cup-winning captain then went on to review Madrid’s performance in El Clasico.

“Eventhough we lost to Barcelona, I liked the way we played for one simple reason: we looked like a team again and that is how we must continue playing.

“The important thing is that by the next clasico at the Bernabeu, we have to be much closer to them… maybe a five or six point difference. But if Barca maintain their current form, then the league will be impossible for us,” he added.

Iker And Sergio

After berating Messi, Cannavaro had words of praise and encouragement for his two teammates, Iker Casillas and Sergio Ramos, both of whom have received criticism recently for their sub-par performances.

“Iker and Sergio are going through what I went through after the [2006] World Cup.

“They won the Eurocopa after playing at a very high level and when they return to a normal league game, they’re not the same.

“But for me, Iker is one of the best in the world and it is normal that he is going through a slump. As for Sergio, he is great. But he has to realise that when he is not at his best, he has to keep things simple,” the veteran defender advised.

The Tenth

With the identity of Madrid’s opponent in the last 16 of the Champions League about to be divulged, the 35-year-old revealed the obstacles he would like to avoid in the knockout stages as the merengues go in search of title number 10.

“I do not like facing Italian teams. I believe that their game does not suit us at all. I prefer one of the stronger teams, but not from Italy. An English team would be great.

“I am convinced that we will fight for the ‘Tenth’. After our elimination in the Copa del Rey, we will have all of January and February to think about advancing to the quarter finals of the Champions League. We have to end this jinx.”  

KS Leong,