“When an opponent plays dirty, you have to keep focused. Concentrate on showing your qualities and forget how he’s trying to disrupt your performance.
I try to face up to him and dribble past him the next time I get the ball. This is my job, this is what I have to do and I must give everything. I can’t let him affect my game, or I let down the team, the manager, the fans and myself.
More after the break
If the referee isn’t keeping a close eye on dirty tricks it can be difficult, because it’s frustrating and you feel like there’s no justice. It’s easy to get wound up and lash out, but remember: if you react, he wins. That’s what he wants. Beat him by playing well and affecting the game.
Football should be clean; dishonest players shouldn’t be playing. Know that you are the better man.”
The PUMA Italy kit features the new PWR ACTV technology, which helps the human body to maximise its performance. Visit puma.com/football
For more football tips see:
Channel aggression positively
Keep a cool head
Dealing with the red mist
How to deal with a mouthy player
How to deal with a wind-up merchant
Mikel Arteta: Handling a hatchet man