Free Press Journal

Messi, Neymar and Suarez are divas, says Ballack


Munich: Former Germany captain Michael Ballack on Tuesday said Barcelona forwards Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar are sometimes like divas and the trio’s unwillingness to defend could be the undoing of their side in the Champions League final.

The South American attackers have fired the Spanish club to the La Liga and Copa del Rey titles and could complete the treble on Saturday when they face Juventus in Berlin. Ballack, however, said that all three can be “divas” and need to do more at the back for the sake of helping the team.

“Of course they have weaknesses. Most obviously in terms of their defence: remember Bayern Munich scored three goals in the semi-final second leg, so they’re clearly vulnerable,” Ballack was quoted as saying by the Guardian on Tuesday.

“Their biggest strength can also become a weakness. Those three forwards are all superstars. They are a little bit like divas, sometimes when you see them, they don’t like to defend,” the former Bayern star added.

“So it will be interesting to see how Juventus can create unhappiness in their game. These kind of players like to have the ball, they want to play, they want to enjoy movements, to pass the ball around.”

Ballack also predicted that Juventus will employ a restrictive game plan to come away with a result in Berlin on Saturday.

“I’m sure they won’t give them space. Juventus will not play an open game but will know that there will be periods in the match, and opportunities, where they can attack themselves and play high up the pitch,” Ballack concluded.