Preparation is key when facing Messi, even more so given the Barcelona star is likely to be especially motivated to win a first international trophy with Argentina. The 34-year-old has won La Liga 10 times and the Champions League on four occasions, as well as the Ballon d’Or six times, but has lost four finals with his national side, three of which came in the Copa America.
Along with Inter’s Lautaro Martinez, who won Serie A last term and has scored in each of the past three Copa matches, Thiago Silva is sure to have his work cut out but he believes the key will be cutting off the supply to Argentina’s forwards.
‘Messi is an indispensable player who makes a difference,’ he explained. ‘He’s a guy who unbalances and is very complicated to face because the recipe for stopping him doesn’t exist.
‘You have to minimise his offensive actions so that he has few spaces and then take care of the players who pass the ball to him. I will just try to do my job, make the ball rotate, believe in our game and in what the coach gives us.’