El Classico Special: How To Stop Messi And Beat Barcelona?

Muffakham ShaheriyarCorrespondent IApril 9, 2010

BARCELONA, SPAIN - APRIL 06:  Lionel Messi of Barcelona lines up prior to the UEFA Champions League quarter final second leg match between Barcelona and Arsenal at Camp Nou on April 6, 2010 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)
Jasper Juinen/Getty Images

The Classico is potentially a championship decider.With a history of charged up atmosphere already,the battle for the League title could further spice up this match.Both teams come level on points with Real Madrid leading the table on goal difference but realistically Barca is better placed currently with a 1 goal advantage over Madrid on head to head record.Plus Real haven't beaten their eternal enemies for the last 3 matches.

So putting things into prospective,Real Madrid need to beat Barcelona at the Bernabeu else the season will be deemed a failure.So in this potentially unnerving atmosphere.Los Blancos need to get their act together and beat Barca but question is how?How to beat possibly one of the best teams right now?

The answer is simple(to say i mean,difficult to practice).If we closely analyse Barca's style of play it revolves around two players mostly Messi and Xavi.Probably stopping Messi is the more difficult aspect but it can be achieved. Barcelona usually tend to use Xavi to orchestrate attacks from the center,passing the ball around and once its up in the opposition half all players play two-one with Messi.(hope u get the two-one concept?)So, to beat Barca it is integral that we cut messi out of the game.Now thats easier said than done.However,Real Madrid are lucky enough to have a player who can manage that in Arbeloa.Arbeloa is one of the few defenders in the world who has been able to stop him so trust the guy to do it again.What sets Messi apart is his pace and his willingness to keep things simple.At moments when Cristiano and other superstars would show off their skills,Messi uses his pace to dribble past defenders without any complicated stepovers and whatsoever.Keep it simple thats his motto(and Pep Guardiola's too,so i have heard.)So, to stop Messi you need to man mark him.Keep a defender to tail him like a dog and never leave him under any circumstances.Keep it simple.Be bullish in front of him.Block him thats it.Dont give him a way out.But yup thats easier said than done but you ll have to attempt it wont you?

Now the next part of the plan or rather the most important part would be to play the game as we want like we did in Nou Camp.Control the ball push it up into Barca's half and utilise the blitzkrieg speed that gives us an advantage over Barcelona.it would be a better idea to use Ronaldo at the left wing as that would negate Dani Alves possibly but Marcelo isn't doing bad either.Plus if we use Ronaldo in the right wing,we could expose Maxwell.However using him on the left would give us an advantage in quick breaks if Alves is sucked into the hole created by arbeloa tracking messi.My option would be to use Ronaldo at the left with Xabi and Lass in the center along with Rafa Van der Vaart at the right.Ronaldo and Rafa could switch from time to time as the situation maybe.

Upfront i would like to see Benzema coming back and being paired with Higuain.Higuain is a quality striker but i have never seen him perform in the big games.So, Benzema is required here.He has the quality to score in the big games.He was the one who scored at the San Siro.And back then Higuain had been having a great run.Higuain has been having a great  run in the league but he hasn't scored in big games(remember Bernabeu against Lyon?)So simply we need the guy Benzema out there.Personally my formation would be this..




 Sergio Ramos               Raul Abliol         Ezqueil Garay         Arbeloa



                                             Lassana Diarra


                                              Xabi Alonso

Rafael Van Der Vaart                                                 Cristiano Ronaldo


                               Higuain                    Benzema


(Remember Folks VDV and CR9 keep switching as the situation maybe.Lass is here to do the dirty work as needed and help Arbeloa mark Messi.)

Your views would differ and i would be glad to hear them..