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Ferguson's strategy to 'neutralise' Messi in Champions League final

May 6, 2011 - London

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has tapped into his wide network of scouts, staff and contacts to study Barcelona and its striker Lionel Messi ahead of the Champions League final at Wembley on May 28.

United cruised their way into the final after overwhelming Schalke FC 4-1 at Old Trafford to complete a 6-1 aggregate win, and now Ferguson wants revenge for the team's 2009 league final defeat to Barcelona.

According to The Sun, the United manager has statistics and information even the Argentinian maestro may not know about himself. He knows how Messi gets the ball, what he does when he gets it, how to stop him getting it and how to neutralise him when he does.

When asked about how he will approach the final, Ferguson said: "I think we'll be quite well prepared."

The Scot had earlier said that he would turn to his Real Madrid counterpart Jose Mourinho for advice on how his side should approach the game.

"I speak to him quite a lot and I spoke to him last week. Real Madrid are a different team from us so I think we will depend on our own knowledge of Barcelona. But the experience that Real Madrid have and from Jose's angle - you always take information from that because he's always very helpful like that," Ferguson had.

"I don't think we should be going there lacking in confidence. We'll be playing a fantastic team, but we can't be frightened out of our skins. We have to find a solution to playing against them," he had added.

Ferguson, only the third manager to take a team to four European finals, now stands on the threshold of matching Bob Paisley's three European Cups.


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