What's buzzing:

Dirty Tackle

Mark van Bommel says Milan believe Leo Messi wouldn’t do as well in Serie A

Dirty Tackle

View photo

.

(Getty)

Lionel Messi has never scored against an Italian club from open play. In nine matches against Serie A teams, he has scored three times -- all of which came from penalties against Milan in the Champions League last season (Barcelona played Milan a total of four times in the group stage and quarterfinals). According to former Milan midfielder Mark van Bommel, this fact was not lost on the Rossoneri before their 2-0 win against Barca in the first leg of their Champions League round of 16 tie.

From Goal.com:

Van Bommel, who spent the 2011-12 season at San Siro, has claimed that he and his colleagues at Milan were of the opinion that Messi would struggle to score more than 30 goals in a campaign if he played in Italy.

"Three quarters [of the changing room] thought he would score definitely less [than 30 goals a season in Serie A]," Van Bommel told Algemeen Dagblad.

"And that's me included, yes. Serie A is just a very different approach to football. You can still neutralise sides like in no other league.

"It was only last year that Messi scored his first goal against an Italian club. This is no coincidence."

Of course, 30 goals is a high ceiling and 99.999999 percent of players would struggle to score that many in any league, but Messi has topped that figure the last four years in a row in the more defensively lenient La Liga. He scored a record 50 league goals last season (Zlatan Ibrahimovic led Serie A with 28) and already has 37 in 24 matches this season (Edinson Cavani leads Serie A with 18).

So when Andy Gray suggested that Messi would struggle on a cold night at Stoke, perhaps he should've said Siena?

View Comments (38)
  • Messi scores twice, Argentina beats Bolivia 7-0

    Messi scores twice, Argentina beats Bolivia 7-0

    Lionel Messi scored less than a minute after coming on as a substitute and added another goal in Argentina's 7-0 victory over Bolivia on Friday night. Messi has nine multigoal games for Argentina, including three hat tricks. The game was … More »

    AP - Sports - 27 minutes ago
  • FFA aware of security situation ahead of World Cup match

    Football Federation Australia said Saturday it is hopeful that Tuesday's World Cup qualifier against Tajikistan in the capital Dushanbe will go ahead despite unrest in the city over the past several days. Armed groups led by a disaffected deputy … More »

    AP - Sports - 49 minutes ago
  • Canada blanks underdog Belize 3-0 in first leg of World Cup qualifier

    Tosaint Ricketts scored twice and Atiba Hutchinson added a stoppage-time goal for the Canadians, who were blanked in their last three games at the Gold Cup (0-1-2). "Three goals, it's good," said Hutchinson, who had a fine game. Canadian coach … More »

    The Canadian Press - 50 minutes ago
  • Proven World Cup pedigree boosts France

    By Julien Pretot PARIS (Reuters) - France's proven Rugby World Cup pedigree, an impressive warmup victory over hosts England and a favourable draw will all be factors in their favour at the 2015 tournament despite a deeply mediocre record under … More »

    Reuters - 1 hour 16 minutes ago
  • Altidore scores 2, US rallies by Peru

    Altidore scores 2, US rallies by Peru

    Jozy Altidore scored a pair of second-half goals in his return to the U.S. national team following an injury filled summer, and the Americans rallied to beat Peru 2-1 in an exhibition Friday night. Preparing for next month's one-game playoff … More »

    AP - Sports - 1 hour 35 minutes ago