Lyon head coach Rudi Garcia says he has not devised a special plan for nullifying the threat of Cristiano Roanldo as his side prepares for the first leg of their Champions League last-16 clash on Wednesday night (22:00 SA time).
Juventus’ visit to France comes in the same week that a Portuguese chocolatier has created a life-size sculpture of the 35-year-old made entirely of chocolate.
Ronaldo marked his 1,000th senior appearance by scoring in Juventus’ Serie A game with SPAL on Saturday – extending his formidable record to 25 goals in 32 club appearances this term.
Garcia said on the five-time Ballon d’Or winner: “He is obviously one of the best players in the world, therefore it’s good to see him in action against us, even if we have to try to limit the damage he usually causes to his opponents.
“But we can’t have a plan just against [Cristiano] Ronaldo, because we should also have a plan against [Paulo] Dybala, a plan against [Gonzalo] Higuain. There are too many good players in this team to face the problems individually, we have to face them as a whole.”
Lyon are winless against Juventus in European competition, drawing once and losing on three occasions, including both of their home games against the Italian side by the same 1-0 scoreline.
Garcia admits the Italians are clear favourites, but his players will try their best to stun Ronaldo’s side.
The Lyon head coach added: “We must be able to be at our best to achieve a good result in the first leg against Juve. And we have to hope that they are not at their 100 percent. Usually this is the case when you meet a stronger team because Juve are favourites.
Meanwhile, Lyon are fully focused on their Champions League games against Juventus and refuse to be concerned by the coronavirus outbreak hitting Italy.
The Ligue 1 club said earlier that Wednesday’s last-16 first leg would go ahead as planned following the “French authorities decision to keep [the game] in its initial configuration”.
The death toll in the coronavirus outbreak in Italy, Europe’s largest so far, rose to seven on Monday as the country shut down much of its wealthy north to curb the spread of the disease.
By Sky Sports