Champions League

Garcia: 'We don't have an anti-Messi plan'

2015-09-15 16:53
Lionel Messi (Action Images)

Milan - Roma coach Rudi Garcia said there will no plans to target Barcelona's Lionel Messi and has warned his side will aim to "get a result" when the sides meet in a Champions League Group E opener on Wednesday.

Roma host the defending European champions on the back of some strong performances this season including a 2-1 win over Italian champions Juventus two weeks ago.

Garcia fully expects the Spanish league giants, who swept Juventus aside 3-1 in last May's Berlin final and beat Roma 3-0 in a pre-season friendly, to be a tough nut to crack at their Stadio Olimpico.

But he said Roma would take a collective approach to countering the threat of Messi, Luis Suarez or Andres Iniesta.

"We don't have an anti-Messi plan, just as there isn't one to stop Suarez or Iniesta," Garcia told media in the Italian capital on Tuesday.

"As (midfielder) Daniele De Rossi has said, you deal with the threat collectively, both in attack and defence."

Roma's fans are still hurting from a 7-1 thrashing by Bayern Munich in last season's group stages, a reverse that contributed to the Giallorossi failing to make the last 16.

Barcelona are favoured by many to claim a second successive title and Garcia underlined exactly where Luis Enrique's men are strongest.

"They like to keep the ball and they have lots of pace up top to strike at the right time, making the most of quick breaks," he said.

"We have to come out well when we have the chance to. Our aim is to get a result based on the quality of our players, thanks to a good team approach in both phases of the game.

"Although at times we will have to, we won't just sit back and let Barcelona play football. We need to counteract their pressing, a tactic they use when they lose possession and want to win it back quickly.

"If we do that, we can start thinking positively."

Roma invested substantially during the summer transfer period with strikers Edin Dzeko (loan) and Juan Iturbe arriving from Manchester City and Genoa respectively and winger Mohamed Salah coming on loan from Chelsea via Fiorentina.

In defence, the Giallorossi have been bolstered notably by the signing of Antonio Rudiger and Lucas Digne, who have both made a positive impression so far this season.

Garcia is still missing creative midfielder Miralem Pjanic through injury, but brushed off the Bosnian's absence.

"There's no point crying about players who can't play, we have to focus on the players we have available and get the best out of them," he said.

He added: "We all know Barcelona are the reigning European champions. If they're not the best in the world, they're certainly up there.

"We'll play with humility tomorrow but also ambition. We want to qualify for the next round so we need to perform well in all six games."


What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

01 November 2016
Besiktas v Napoli, Vodafone Arena 19:45
Borussia Mönchengladbach v Celtic, Borussia-Park 21:45
Benfica v Dynamo Kyiv, Estadio da Luz 21:45
Manchester City v Barcelona, Etihad Stadium 21:45
PSV v FC Bayern München, Philips Stadion 21:45
FC Basel v Paris Saint-Germain, St Jakob-Park 21:45
Ludogorets Razgrad v Arsenal, Vasil Levski National Stadium 21:45
Atlético de Madrid v FC Rostov, Vicente Calderon 21:45
02 November 2016
FC Porto v Club Brugge, Estadio do Dragao 21:45
Juventus v Lyon, Juventus Stadium 21:45
FC København v Leicester City, Parken Stadion 21:45
Legia Warsaw v Real Madrid, Pepsi Arena 21:45
Sevilla v Dinamo Zagreb, Ramon-Sanchez Pizjuan 21:45
Borussia Dortmund v Sporting Lisbon, Signal Iduna Park 21:45
Monaco v CSKA Moscow, Stade Louis II 21:45
Tottenham Hotspur v Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Wembley 21:45
22 November 2016
CSKA Moscow v Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Arena CSKA 19:00
Sporting Lisbon v Real Madrid, Estadio Jose Alvalade 21:45
Leicester City v Club Brugge, King Power Stadium 21:45
Dinamo Zagreb v Lyon, Maksimir 21:45
FC København v FC Porto, Parken Stadion 21:45
Sevilla v Juventus, Ramon-Sanchez Pizjuan 21:45
Borussia Dortmund v Legia Warsaw, Signal Iduna Park 21:45
Monaco v Tottenham Hotspur, Stade Louis II 21:45
23 November 2016
FC Rostov v FC Bayern München, Olimp-2 Stadium 19:00
Besiktas v Benfica, Vodafone Arena 19:45
Borussia Mönchengladbach v Manchester City, Borussia-Park 21:45
Celtic v Barcelona, Celtic Park 21:45
Arsenal v Paris Saint-Germain, Emirates Stadium 21:45
Napoli v Dynamo Kyiv, San Paolo 21:45
Ludogorets Razgrad v FC Basel, Vasil Levski National Stadium 21:45
Atlético de Madrid v PSV, Vicente Calderon 21:45
06 December 2016
FC Bayern München v Atlético de Madrid, Allianz Arena 21:45
Barcelona v Borussia Mönchengladbach, Camp Nou 21:45
Benfica v Napoli, Estadio da Luz 21:45
Manchester City v Celtic, Etihad Stadium 21:45
Dynamo Kyiv v Besiktas, Kiev Olympic Stadium 21:45
Paris Saint-Germain v Ludogorets Razgrad, Parc des Princes 21:45
PSV v FC Rostov, Philips Stadion 21:45
FC Basel v Arsenal, St Jakob-Park 21:45
07 December 2016
Bayer 04 Leverkusen v Monaco, BayArena 21:45
FC Porto v Leicester City, Estadio do Dragao 21:45
Club Brugge v FC København, Jan Breydelstadion 21:45
Juventus v Dinamo Zagreb, Juventus Stadium 21:45
Lyon v Sevilla, Parc OL 21:45
Legia Warsaw v Sporting Lisbon, Pepsi Arena 21:45
Real Madrid v Borussia Dortmund, Santiago Bernabeu 21:45
Tottenham Hotspur v CSKA Moscow, Wembley 21:45
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

Who will be the 2015/16 Champions League top scorer?

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.