Jose Mourinho tells Liverpool the only way to stop Lionel Messi is to ‘create a cage’

Liverpool vs Barcelona in the semi final of the Champions League.

It’s set to be an incredible occasion.

The winner of the mouthwatering tie will surely fancy their chances of beating either Tottenham or Ajax in the final in Madrid.

The clash between the two sides will also see Virgil van Dijk come up against Lionel Messi.

Many believe Van Dijk has established himself as the best defender in the world, while Messi is obviously considered the greatest to have ever played the game.

There’s a stat going around that the Dutch defender hasn’t been dribbled past all season.

Surely that will change with Messi in town.

But how do you stop the Argentine superstar?

Well, Jose Mourinho has given Liverpool some advice ahead of the two ties.

“Messi is having a phenomenal season and now with Juventus and Cristiano Ronaldo outside this fight, he knows also that the golden ball is there waiting for him,” Mourinho told Russia Today.

‘Messi is easy to understand, but it’s not easy to create a cage to control him, because he comes from the right, but then stays in the middle. It’s very difficult.

“When Messi has the ball, one-on-one, you are dead. That’s why I never liked the individual man-to-man against Messi. Messi is a cage. You have to create a cage.”

Van Dijk himself has already been asked about his plans ahead of facing Messi and he knows it will be a team effort if they are to stop the five-time Ballon d’Or winner.

“How are we going to do it? I don’t know, we’ll see,” a smiling Van Dijk said.