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Jorge Jesus: Messi is easier to defend than Griezmann

The Sporting manager had some high praise for Griezmann ahead of Thursday’s game.

Sevilla v Atletico Madrid - La Liga Photo by Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images

Jorge Jesus had some glowing praise for Antoine Griezmann ahead of his side’s clash with Atlético Madrid at the Wanda Metropolitano in the Europa League on Thursday night. The Portuguese manager said Atlético’s talisman is more difficult to defend against than Lionel Messi.

When asked if he will be man-marking Griezmann the same way as he did Messi when Barcelona and Sporting Clube de Portugal played in the Champions League group stage, Jesus answered:

I don’t think so because Messi is distinct, he doesn’t change his position much like Griezmann, he’s more in a zone and it was easier to ‘organise the defence’. He’s more fixed. Now, we’ll meet a player who goes all over the field.

Along with Real Madrid coming at the weekend, the two games against Sporting should go a long way in defining the rojiblancos’ season. If Griezmann can “spring a Messi“ in either or both games, it might be the perfect parting gift ahead of a proposed move to Barça in the summer.