Veteran Chile Goalkeeper And Lionel Messi’s FC Barcelona compatriot Claudio Bravo has come out and said that Chile can stop the Argentina magician only through collective work as a team in Saturday’s Copa America final.
Lionel Messi produced a scintillating individual performance as Argentina destroyed Paraguay 6-1 in the semi final of the Copa America on Tuesday.
The FC Barcelona man tormented Paraguay mercilessly as the favorites produced their best display so far of the Copa America and advanced to a showdown with Chile in Saturdaya s final.
Although Messi failed to end his run of more than 900 minutes without an international goal from open play, he turned creator with three assists and had further hand in two other goals.
Goals from Angel Di Maria (2), Marcos Rojo, Javier Pastore, Sergio Aguero and Gonzalo Higuain completed an emphatic rout for the South American giants.
And with the Saturday’s final looming, Chile captain and ‘keeper Claudio Bravo who has first hand experience of watching Messi destroy opponents on the pitch, knows what his side will be up against in the Copa America final on Saturday.
Bravo admits that if Chile are to stop Lionel Messi, it will take a complete team effort.
“The truth is that it is not easy, seeing the quality that Leo has and what he has done throughout his career, it’s been amazing,” Bravo said in a press conference.
“I think that our focus is the team – that as a team we can control Leo and the other class players.”
Complimenting his other FC Barcelona team mate Javier Mascherano, Bravo said: “Javier Mascherno is a very valuable player who gives character to your team, is the heart of the side.”
Ahead of the clash at the Estadio Nacional, the FC Barcelona stopper insisted that Chile are not afraid of taking on the World Cup 2014 runners-up and that Jorge Sampaoli has prepared the team well.
“We never have fear with any team. We have the maximum respect for all national teams,” he added.
“The feeling which is not only mine, but of all my team-mates, is of great happiness to see that the work we are doing is on track.
“By continuing the style of play we had under [former coach Marecelo] Bielsa we have always tried to capture the idea that Chile play as equals with any team.
“We are prepared, we know how he have to play. We have always tried to play and suffocate with our pressing.”
There have been worries of the fitness of Chile’s Arsenal FC star Alexis SA?nchez, but, Bravo was quick to allay an fears that the former FC Barcelona man may miss the showpiece event.
“He worked normally, is fine and in good condition. No player has been ruled out.”