Messi seeks Cate’s help to end goal drought

Determined to end his goal drought, Argentine star Lionel Messi has sought the advice of his one-time coach at Barcelona, Henk Ten Cate, ahead of a quarter-final clash against Germany in the World Cup football Friday.


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Published: Sat 3 Jul 2010, 9:43 AM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 4:07 AM

The 55-year-old Dutchman, Ten Cate, who was Frank Rijkaard’s assistant at Barcelona for three years till 2006, attended Argentina’s training session at the University of Pretoria’s High Performance Centre Wednesday evening, just 48 hours before Argentina lock horns with Germany in Port Elizabeth.

Ten Cate observed the training session and shared a few notes with Messi, who has been heavily marked by defenders, prompting coach Diego Maradona to turn him into a playmaker from a goal scorer.

Ten Cate is extremely disappointed with the way Messi has been fouled by defenders.

”A lot has been said about refereeing in this tournament. They should always protect the good and attractive players because people come to watch players like him (Messi),” Ten Cate told IANS on the sidelines of Argentina’s training session.

”This should be done not only for him (Messi) but for other players as well. We should also understand that the referee is not able to see everything on the field.”

Ten Cate, however, hoped that Messi would find his scoring touch against Germany.

”Great players always wait for the perfect opportunity. I am sure Messi will find the back of the net against Germany. Fans will have to be patient,” he sad.

Ten Cate, who was also the assistant to Avam Grant at Chelsea, is happy to see Messi revelling in the new role of a playmaker.

”Messi combines his perfect touch with an incredible agility and high acceleration in the first few steps. He often changes position in the first few metres. As a defender, you lose your courage. The beautiful thing is that he makes those actions right on the verge of the box. Therefore, practically every action by Messi creates danger from the moment he receives possession. There is no other player like Messi in world football at this moment,” he said.

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