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David Moyes urges Everton FC's Marouane Fellaini to imitate Lionel Messi

by Richard Buxton. Published Mon 25 Feb 2013 16:31, last updated: 25/02/13

David Moyes has urged Everton midfielder Marouane Fellaini to imitate Lionel Messi.

The towering Belgian, 25, remains one of the Blues' most influential players this season and was singled out by his manager for unfair treatment from referees after Saturday's defeat to Norwich.

Fellaini's frustrations at a lack of protection from match officials against overly physical opponents have surfaced at regular intervals in the campaign, notably during a draw with Stoke in December when he earned a three-match suspension for head butting Ryan Shawcross.

But Moyes believes Fellaini, who remains open to the prospect of a future move to Chelsea, should consider taking a leaf from Barcelona star Messi's measured approach to heavy-handed counterparts.

He said: "You trust them, you expect them to go about their job, the same for everybody, but he is [targeted].

"If you look at him, he has to take as many challenges as anybody. He'll give as many out but I don't think he gets protected as well as what it is when he's challenging something.

"I keep saying to him 'look at Lionel Messi; he gets kicked every week, everybody wants to kick him because it's the only way to stop him, but all he ever does is sort of smile, get up and get on with it'.

"So I've told him he has to copy that. I don't think he'll ever be as good as that but certainly in his temperament he should try and have a similar temperament to Lionel Messi, who looks as if he just gets on, accepts that people are going to have to try and stop him some way and moves on."

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