Rio Ferdinand has advised Lionel Messi to replicate the sort of sacrifice Wayne Rooney used to make for Cristiano Ronaldo at Manchester United.
Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe form a star studded front 3 for PSG. They have not yet clicked together completely, although there were signs of it last night in PSG’s UEFA Champions League win against Manchester City.
Speaking to BT Sport (via the Daily Mirror), Rio Ferdinand said Messi might have to take a leaf from Wayne Rooney’s book. The England international sometimes moved to the left wing to accommodate Cristiano Ronaldo and Ferdinand, referencing the incident, said:
“There’s got to be humility. I can liken it to someone like Wayne Rooney.
“Wayne Rooney was superstar, world-class talent, he was willing to sacrifice being a number nine to go left wing for Cristiano Ronaldo at times.”
“In the Champions League final he went left-wing to track back. When you’ve got players like that you’ll be successful, you’ll win big tournaments, big trophies.”
Owen Hargreaves, who was also present in the studio, said that the PSG front 3 of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Mbappe will need a highly defensive-minded midfield to track back:
“You think about that United team, you had Wayne Rooney top of the pitch and Carlos Tevez and Ronaldo sometimes played off the left, certain games Ronaldo would go to the top.
“Those two played like defensive players, they pressed the ball, none of these three [Messi, Mbappe, Neymar] want to track back so it would be curious to see who comes back.
“Someone is going to have to track back in the game and that’s why I think he’s playing three defensive midfield players in Herrera, Gueye and Veratti.
“I think the three are going to stay up and the rest of the team is going to have to work to get it back for them.”