Bosnia-Herzegovina coach Safet Susic has revealed they are not planning to man-mark star Argentina striker Lionel Messi in the opening fixture of Group F in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday.
Argentina possibly have the strongest forward line, featuring strikers like Messi, Ezequiel Lavezzi, Sergio Aguero and Gonzalo Higuain. And, Susic feels that they cannot afford to sacrifice one player to mark Messi in the game against the former champions.
Bosnia netted 30 goals in the World Cup qualifying with their full-speed-ahead playing style and their coach Susic is planning to stick with his attacking style, regardless of the opponent. Susic is not willing to tweak his plan, which could turn out to a foolish or a bold move against the South Americans.
"It is a dilemma for me, but to sacrifice a player just to man-mark Messi, I don't think it would be good for us," Safic said. "I don't think we have ever played a match having dedicated a player to man-mark a specific opponent, and it's going to be the same (against Argentina)."
Messi is not going to be the only focus for the Bosnia defenders as the Champions League final man of the match, Angel di Maria, will also be rushing forward from the midfield. However, the four-time Ballon d'Or winner is still the main player for Argentina.
"I don't think the Argentina national team depends on me - far from it," Messi told to FourFourTwo magazine. "We've got a great group of players who can perform to their best and lift the trophy, which is our fundamental objective."
Messi was named captain by coach Alex Sabella to inspire him for the World Cup. The Barcelona star said he approaches every game with same mentality and he is not been weighed down by people's expectations and responsibilities as skipper.
"I know I have a responsibility, especially as captain, to the people of Argentina but I try not to let that pressure get to me," Messi said. "I approach every game - it doesn't matter if it is a Champions League final or a World Cup game - as I did as a child... and that is to have fun."
Meanwhile, Argentina's Ezequiel Garay said they can't be complacent against the World Cup debutants and they will have to prevent Bosnia players from taking advantage at dead-ball situations. He added that it is going to be a tough contest but they want to start their campaign with a win.
"We need to stay focused and each of us mark our man and know that they're going to be dangerous," Garay said. "While we respect our rivals and know that no match is easy, at the same time we are Argentina. And we play to win."