Chiellini: The only way to stop Messi is to pray

Giorgio Chiellini believes it takes something special to stop Barcelona star Lionel Messi as there is no way to prepare for the attacker.

Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini says Cristiano Ronaldo can be handled with the right preparation, but believes Lionel Messi is pretty much unstoppable.

Chiellini has underlined the importance of studying opponents in order to come up with a solution to keep them quiet, but acknowledges it takes something special to stifle the Barcelona ace.

"Having knowledge of your opponent is crucial in football, both on a team and an individual level," Chiellini told Eurosport.

"Knowing your opponent helps you understand his characteristics, his strengths and weaknesses.

"When you mark Cristiano Ronaldo, you always try to make sure he does not get the ball to his right foot.

"When you are marking Messi, you better start praying...

"Jokes aside, every player has his own characteristics and can be analysed psychologically."

Chiellini also looked back on last season's Champions League final defeat at the hands of Barcelona and conceded Juventus could have put in a stronger performance.

"We could have won the Champions League final, we had the chances to do it," he added.

"We could have played better, we did not put in the perfect performance.

"But I am convinced we will get another chance in the near future."