Thursday, 21st February, 2013
Mark van Bommel has revealed that when AC Milan’s players assessed Lionel Messi last season, they felt if he played in Serie A he would score less than 30 goals.
Messi was kept quiet last night by Milan at the San Siro as the Rossoneri ran out 2-0 winners against the Spanish giants in the first leg of their Champions League Round of 16 tie.
The Argentine bagged a remarkable 50 goals in La Liga last season, while in the current campaign he has 37 from 24 games to his name.
How Messi would do in other leagues has long been a topic for discussion and Van Bommel, who was at Milan last season, reveals it was discussed in the dressing room.
The Dutchman explained how Gennaro Gattuso, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Alessandro Nesta and others, were talking about Messi in Serie A.
The question was whether Messi would score more or less than 30 goals in Serie A and "three quarters absolutely thought less", he told Dutch daily AD.
"I did too.
"It is just a very different approach in Serie A. It can neutralise people like no other league.
"Only last year did Messi score his first goal against an Italian club. This is no coincidence."
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