Former Real Star: How Mourinho Used Me To Stop Messi
Former Real Madrid Star: How Jose Mourinho Used Me To Stop Lionel Messi
A former Real Madrid star has revealed how Jose Mourinho used him to attempt to stop FC Barcelona maestro Lionel Messi during El Clasico matches.
In the Portuguese tactician's first derby against then Blaugrana manager Pep Guardiola's men, Real lost 5-0, but he quickly learned how to lessen the Argentine's influence in games, according to one of his former players.
Former Liverpool and Los Blancos midfielder Xabi Alonso has now explained how Mourinho used to use him "sacrifice" him positionally in games to contain Messi.
"Messi has done a lot of damage to me, Mourinho and Sergio Ramos talked about him a lot," Alonso told Ecos del Balne.
"We only started to control Messi when I was marking him.
"We sacrificed positions for me to mark him, but once we controlled Messi, the matches were even.
"The famous 5-0 loss made us change a lot of things.
"At that time we weren't ready to compete, a year later we were.
"Barcelona were dominant, but by the end of 2011 we knew we could strike against anybody in four moves."
The 36-year-old made 236 appearances for Los Blancos, scoring six goals and assisting a further 32 strikes.
Are you surprised by the tactics Mourinho deployed against Barca? Have your say in the comments section below.