Roberto Martinez: How to play against Barcelona
Sunday 22 May 2011
Barcelona are the best team in the world, though Manchester United are fresher and have the experience you need to stop them.
Compare it to Spain in the World Cup. They need the ball, to keep possession and suck you in. There were two styles against them, the South American style with high pressure and one-v-one everywhere, and then the European, which is to drop, defend really deep and don't give them space in front of the 18-yard box.
Switzerland did that and beat them, though nine out of 10 times they would lose. Paraguay and Chile were very unlucky against them.
If you give them the ball it's tough because they've got outstanding players in one-v-one situations and then they can hurt you. Hernandez, Rooney and Valencia are the key players. Chicharito stretches the team and if anything the two centre-halves of Barcelona can be exposed. It will be a fascinating game.
Barcelona have been playing that style for 20 years because they are brought up that way. With Messi you need to double up, use two players all the time. He will play in front of Vidic and Ferdinand, then just drop to attract one of the two of them forward, so the wide players Pedro and Villa can make that diagonal run behind all the time.
So you need to defend with three and man-mark Messi. He is the only one in the world who can get the ball and go past five players. Not even Ronaldo, because he is different, it's over five yards. With Messi it's over 25 yards. So you have to stop the space but more than that, stop the service to Messi.
Latest in Sport
Jay Hart sex tape: Clitheroe footballer sacked after being filmed having sex with unknown blonde woman in manager's dug-out
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: What time does it start and where can I watch it?
Radamel Falcao to Liverpool: Agent of Manchester United striker 'makes contact' with Anfield
Cesc Fabregas in Premier League title dig at Arsenal after pointing out '27 year wait'
Mario Balotelli incident leaves Brendan Rodgers fuming after Liverpool's FA Cup exit to Aston Villa
- 1 Rarest Beanie Baby bought for just £10 at car boot sale could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 3 Giorgio Armani criticises the way some gay men dress saying 'a man has to be a man'
- 4 Rebecca Francis accuses Ricky Gervais of using 'influence' to target female hunters after receiving barrage of death threats
- 5 Australian student Tommy Connolly, 23, adopts his pregnant, homeless 17-year-old cousin to give her a chance at 'a better life'
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate