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Rohr: We won’t allow Messi distract us

Rohr: We won’t allow Messi distract us

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BUNMI OGUNYALE

Super Eagles’ manager, Gernot Rohr has boasted that there are no special plans to man-mark Lionel Messi in their final group game against Argentina in Russia.

The Franco-German gaffer maintained in an interview with South African based football magazine, Soccer Laduma that other methods would be employed to stop the Argentine as man-marking world class players is obsolete to the game.

“Of course, we all know him and we know of his quality. But we also played against some really good players in our qualification and were able to deal with them.

“We had Riyad Mahrez at Algeria, we played against Saido Mane and Senegal in a friendly, we know how to organize our defence against top quality players.

“What I can tell you now is that there will be no man-marking of Messi. We did this in the old days, even myself, but it’s not used too often these days.

“We will deal with Messi or any big player as a collective. But often you won’t be able to keep top players quiet over the whole 90 minutes,” he pointed out.

The gaffer also revealed that he had deployed scouts to monitor Nigeria’s opponents as they prepare for the Mundial.

According to him, “Like everyone else is doing it these days, we will scout our opponents. We will send scouts to watch their games.

“We have already started to analyze videos of our opponents and we will try to get as much information as possible about our opponents. But we will also monitor and scout our own players in order to choose the best squad. And we have lined up our friendly games against teams that are playing similarly to the opponents on our group.”

Nigeria will trade tackle with the former World Champions in Saint Petersburg on June 26.

… Names Mikel, Onazi, Musa key players

Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr has listed seven key and experienced players he plans to name on the 23-man roster for the World Cup.

Of the seven players the German tactician mentioned, five in the shape of Obi Mikel, Victor Moses, Alex Iwobi, William Troost-Ekong and Ahmed Musa are currently playing for or have represented English clubs.

“We have a few very experienced players, such as our captain John Obi Mikel. Our two central defenders William Troost-Ekong and Leon Balogun are also very important to us, ‘’ Rohr said in an interview with South African football magazine Soccer Laduma.

‘’We have players such as Victor Moses and Alex Iwobi– they are also very important for us.

‘’We have many young players, and everyone has a role to play in our team.

‘’But the most important leaders are our captain Mikel, the vice-captain Ogenyi Onazi, and Ahmed Musa also.’’

The aforementioned players are expected to report for international duty at Wrocław on Monday, March 19 ahead of Nigeria’s friendly against Poland.

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