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L. Messi

'Messi is like Tomba on the slopes' - Poland boss reveals plan to stop Argentina captain in World Cup decider

9:55 AM GMT 30/11/2022
Lionel Messi Argentina festejo Qatar 2022
Poland boss Czeslaw Michniewicz compared Lionel Messi to skiing legend Alberto Tomba ahead of his side's crucial World Cup clash with Argentina.
  • Michniewicz compares Messi to Tomba
  • Reveals plan to stop the Argentine skipper
  • Downplays Messi vs Lewandowski matchup

WHAT HAPPENED? As Poland gear up to take on Argentina in a massive group stage decider, Michniewicz has lavished praise on Messi and compared the forward to legendary former Italian Alpine ski racer Alberto Tomba, who can boast of having won three Olympic gold medals. The tactician believes that his troops must surround the Paris Saint-Germain forward every time he receives the ball as it is impossible for one player to stop him.

WHAT THEY SAID: ''Messi on the pitch is like Alberto Tomba on the slope, he’s able to avoid everyone like Tomba can get around everything,'' said Michniewicz. ''So we need to put players around Messi because if he can get around (them) easily he will easily score. One player cannot stop Messi, we must get players around him. The whole world has been thinking for years about how to stop Lionel Messi and he has made dozens of goals and assists. I don’t think we’ll ever find the final answer to this question.''

THE BIGGER PICTURE: This match is also being dubbed as a battle between Robert Lewandowski and Messi, however, Michniewicz insists that the contest will not be decided by just one individual. "It’s not only a match between Lewandowski and Messi, it’s not tennis,'' he said. ''Robert needs his teammates, the same as Leo needs his. We rely on these great strikers but they cannot win on their own.''

IN THREE PHOTOS:

WHAT NEXT FOR MESSI? The Argentina captain will hope that he can inspire his country to victory over Poland and ensure their progress to the round of 16. Both sides will qualify if their match ends in a draw and there is also nothing to separate Saudi Arabia and Mexico in the other final group fixture.