‘I could mark Messi on the Playstation or when I weighed 15 kg’s less’

Napoli head coach Gennaro Gattuso joked around that nobody can mark Lionel Messi except for in his dreams or on the Playstation of his son. The Italians will be facing FC Barcelona this week in the second leg of their Round of 16 match-up in the Champions League. The first match ended in a 1-1 draw in Naples in February.

Asked about Messi ahead of the game, Gattuso told reporters: “I can mark Messi only in my dreams. Or if I set Napoli vs Barcelona on my son’s PlayStation, trying to catch him there when I played for Milan with 10-15 kilograms less than today.”

Napoli beat Lazio 3-1 on the final day of the season and Gattuso was asked if he would be using the same strategy to fight Barcelona. “I think they are very different teams [Lazio and Barcelona] with two different styles. Lazio mixes technical and physical skills. Barcelona are all about quality. I think it will be a different game. We don’t have to think about score or not.”

“We must play as a team, being confident that we can have our chances. We know that it will be an enterprise. Our mind must be free in order to express our qualities.” If Napoli want to progress to the quarter final they will need to score at least one more goal than Barcelona after the first leg ended in a 1-1 draw. A goalless draw would be enough for Barcelona to progress.