Switzerland coach Ottmar Hitzfeld is planning to stop Argentinian star Lionel Messi at the FIFA World Cup™ and prolong a glittering career in his last tournament before retiring.
The former Bayern Munich coach said he would demonstrate how to neutralise the Barcelona genius, who has plundered four goals in three games so far in Brazil, in the Round of 16.
The German, who has promised to quit football after the FIFA World Cup, added that he was not approaching Tuesday's showdown with the thought that it may be his last game.
"How to stop Messi? We'll show you tomorrow how we do it," Hitzfeld told reporters. "Of course I've thought with the staff how to go on and continue to the quarter-finals - so I don't think it's going to be my last match."
The comments indicate Hitzfeld, one of only five coaches to win the UEFA Champions League with two different teams, is preparing a tactical masterclass to shackle the four-time FIFA Ballon d'Or winner.
I trust my people, I trust my defence and the entire team. The entire team will have to perform, but I'm optimistic.
The 65-year-old pulled off one of the great shocks of the 2010 FIFA World Cup when Switzerland beat eventual champions Spain 1-0 in the group stage, en route to an early exit.
At this edition, Switzerland, thanks to a hat-trick from Xherdan Shaqiri, recovered from a 5-2 beating by France to swamp Honduras 3-0 and reach the last 16.
"I think any defence will face problems when facing Messi. But problems are there to be solved," Hitzfeld said. "I trust my people, I trust my defence and the entire team. The entire team will have to perform, but I'm optimistic.
"I've had many challenges in my career. At the World Cup in South Africa, despite having four points we didn't make it into the second round so we have fulfilled this little dream, making it into the last 16.
"We just want to go on fulfilling the dreams we have. For me personally it's definitely a highlight in my career as a coach."