Saturday, June 26, 2010

Who will Stop Lionel Messi in Argentina vs Mexico Match 2010?

The round of 16 match between Argentina and Mexico on 27 June promises another entertaining match in the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2010. While Argentina is looking to continue their dominating form, Mexico is worried about the attacking intent of the Argentines, more specifically of Lionel Messi.

The Barcelona star is yet to open his scoring book, but was instrumental behind Argentina’s mind blowing performance at the group stage. The 23-year-old striker was the source of most of the Argentine goals in the three group stage fixtures.

So, it is pretty much understandable that Mexican defense would have an eye on the striker who currently holds the FIFA World Player of the Year award. Messi was the highest scorer of Spanish league last season with 34 goals and it proves his hot-shot form at the moment.

Mexico knows it very well that their chances of getting over the challenge posed by Argentina rely on how successfully they can stop Lionel Messi. Now, the question appears if Mexico defense is strong enough to restrict Messi from scoring himself as well as setting up for others. If yes, then the question remains who among the Mexican defenders would be able to stop Lionel Messi.

Well, Messi’s Barcelona teammate Rafael Márquez could lead Mexican defense to nullify Argentine attacks. Center back Márquez, who earned Mexico a lead against Argentina in their round of 16 encounter in 2006 World Cup in Germany, should know about Messi very well as they have played together a lot for Barcelona. Now, that experience could help Rafael Márquez and Mexico to make plans for stopping the striker.

Mexico could deploy someone for man-marking Lionel Messi, but in that case the players like Veron, Higuaín and Tévez could do the job for Argentina. So, it is most likely Mexico would concentrate more on zonal defending, rather than individual marking.

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