FIFA 2014

Lionel Messi vs Bastian Schweinsteiger

Messi.

Messi.  

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This battle arguably holds the key to Argentina’s fortunes on Sunday. If Lionel Messi can be controlled by Bastian Schweinsteiger, like he was in the semifinal by Nigel de Jong, Germany would dissolve the opposition’s biggest threat. Yet, Messi is at the peak of his powers and it often takes more than one player to tie him down.

Schweinsteiger, though, will act as Germany’s first line of defence against the Barcelona legend.

While the Bayern Munich midfielder is a wonderful distributor of the ball, he’s not a natural holding midfielder.

In the past, top-notch players have exposed Schweinsteiger’s defensive weaknesses. His midfield partners Toni Kroos and Sami Khedira may have to help him out occasionally.

Although a “tired” Messi has been forced to run lesser than usual in Brazil, he has displayed a willingness to dictate the direction and pace of play by dropping deep.

Messi also drifts to the right regularly and it would be interesting to see whether Schweinsteiger follows him there or leaves the marking duties to left-back Benedikt Howedes.

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Printable version | Jan 22, 2020 8:10:34 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/football/fifa-2014/lionel-messi-vs-bastian-schweinsteiger/article6204739.ece

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