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Messi is criticized for lack of leadership spirit

Lionel Messi left for the dressing room, instead of staying in the field for interviews after Barca lost 0-1 in La Liga on November 21.

Messi declined an interview – a mandatory obligation on the part of the organizers, but that day Barca also had no veterans to replace him. Gerard Pique and Sergi Roberto both injured, leaving the field from the front. Sergio Busquets stayed in Barcelona to recover. The 17-year-old Pedri, therefore, must represent Barca players to talk to the media about the team’s defeat against Atletico.

“Barca are a team without a leader, even when the game at the Wanda Metropolitano ends. They lose the game, leave the field with a low bow in boredom. But their mission is not limited to 90 minutes. ? “, AS asked. “Messi, once again, failed to show his captain’s role. On October 24, after Barca lost to Real Madrid, 19-year-old rookie defender Sergino Dest was also required to show up to the media. Barca’s dressing clearly lacks a leader, although the captain’s armband is in the hands of Messi – who demanded to leave in August “.

In the El Calsico match that Marca recalled, both captain Messi and two vice captains Pique, Busquets played. But Dest had to stand up and speak to the media, and answer in English because the 19-year-old American did not speak a single Spanish.

The fans also find it difficult to understand when a young player like Pedri must accept responsibility for the team’s defeat to the media. “It’s shameful,” commented one fan on Twitter. “The fact that Pedri has to respond to the interview says a lot about Messi’s captain’s role,” commented another fan.

In reply to the Atletico defeat, Pedri said: “Recently, we have not been doing well in attack, and the first half injury goal has affected the team. We know things like this. Absolutely possible and the team is still improving. La Liga is very long, we can completely compete for the championship.

The defeat of Atletico caused Barca to drop to 12th La Liga, with only 11 points after 10 rounds. Messi’s team is 12 points behind Real Sociedad, but less than two games.

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When Messi was no longer unique at Barca (Part 2)

Koeman was chosen because he was a former Barca player. He is said to understand the Barca style. But the former Dutch centre-back has also left Barca 25 years from his time as a player, and 20 years on from his time as Louis van Gaal’s assistant.

Koeman has played for Vitesse Arnhem, Ajax, Benfica, PSV Eindhoven, Valencia, AZ Alkmaar, Feyenoord, Southampton, Everton and the Dutch club. He could understand Barca, but he had enough experience not to be bound to a path, to depend on any individual, including Messi.

Choosing Koeman was also part of a journey to help Barca erase Pep Guardiola’s obsession with football – which brought a lot of success, but then came back to haunt the club for years. And the way Barca tried to play more diversely under the new Dutch manager was testament.

“Barca is going to have to play like this, that…” guardiola’s subjective remarks made managers always compared, despite the fact that the player force each time is different. Barca’s present is also no longer the era of the Xavi and Iniesta.

History proves that Barca’s football, although based on ball control and the original 4-3-3 diagram, developed very diversely and flexibly, rather than relying solely on a certain path. As tactical expert Michael Cox said, when bringing Barca and the 1986 Champions League final, coach Terry Venables used the 4-4-2 diagram, with a solid defence and a line between all the workers. Despite that, the Catalonians have not boycotted their team.

Not to mention barca becoming victims of their own success, when today, the majority of the top teams talk about the way the ball is controlled with the defence rising. Even a team with no tradition with this style of play like Juventus would like to play better with Maurizio Sarri.

Guardiola-style Barca have also become outdated, with last season’s 2-8 Champions League defeat to Bayern an example. It was Bayern who developed Guardiola’s football philosophy, but later developed into a more timely face-to-face football. Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool are also a representative.

Pushing Luis Suarez to Atletico Madrid was an attempt to clean up the dressing room, creating space for young players like Ansu Fati to develop and pave the way for a new football mindset by Koeman. What happened against Vilalrreal suggests koeman is trying to eradicate individualism at Barca and will free Messi to return to the right football he likes the most.

When given the burden of responsibility on his shoulders, most likely, Messi will be even better.

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When Messi was no longer unique at Barca (Part 1)

The win over Villarreal in La Liga showed that Barca were trying to adjust their style of play, and were freed from their dependence on Lionel Messi.

In the first 20 minutes of the Villarreal match, Messi only touched the ball six times, but Barca scored twice thanks to a brace from rising star Ansu Fati, following assists from Jordi Alba and Philippe Coutinho. Ronald Koeman’s reign has started differently from at least three of his predecessors Luis Enrique, Ernesto Valverde and Quique Setien. In all three of those periods, Messi scored his first goal.

If you look closely at Fati’s two goals, it can be seen that Messi missed at least once in the first goal. When Alba received the ball at the bottom of the margin, both Fati and Messi moved closer and asked for the ball. Alba did not pass to Messi, just a few steps behind Fati. When the man cushioned the ball into the Goalkeeper Asenjo’s net to open the scoring, Messi jumped slightly as a reflex when he made the shot. Also, he was uncomfortable with his teammate’s pass.

According to statistics firm Opta, messi made only 54 passes, far behind leader Frenkie De Jong (74) and three others, Alba (73), Gerard Pique (69) and Sergio Busquets (60). Coutinho, wearing the number 14 shirt, was in fact free to play at No.10, played a role in organising the game, also passing the ball 44 times, only slightly behind Messi despite playing 20 minutes less than his team-mates.

In theory, Manager Koeman arranged Messi to play the highest in the attacking line in a virtual No.9 role, with the trio behind fati, Coutinho and Antoine Griezmann. But Messi operates wide and regularly plays lower than his three team-mates. The heat map shows that he appears most in the position behind Griezmann, who is on the right wing. Messi is still involved in the opening of attacking phases, but is no longer the one who performs the whole stage of sparking – finishing as usual in previous eras. Very often, Messi seeks to sneak into the penalty area in search of a definitive opportunity.

This was a highlight of the idea that Koeman claimed when he took charge of Barca. Off the pitch, Messi no longer has the privilege of training, resting as required by the individual, but must follow the general plan. On the field, no.10 still carries the captain’s band, and is the leader of the game, but is no longer the center of every line as before. Those moves showed that Koeman wanted Messi to be held accountable, breaking the situation of the team being overly dependent on him as before.

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Top 5 worst failures in Messi’s career

Barca lost 2-8 shame to Bayern Munich in the Champions League, but is this the worst failure of Messi’s career?

Barca 2-8 Bayern Munich, quarter-finals of the Champions League 2019/20

An unbelievable defeat when the quarter-finals of the Champions League this year took place only in one match and the performance of the two teams made few people dare to think about this result before the ball rolled.

In this match, Messi played very poorly and could not score goals or create opportunities for his teammates. He kicked the full 90 minutes, but only had 59 touches of the ball, 38 passes with 71% accuracy and 3 shots toward the opponent’s goal.

Liverpool 4-0 Barca, the second leg of the Champions League semi-final 2018/19

Last season, Barca won 3-0 in the first leg and many people believed that they were sure of the final ticket.

But the subjectivity coupled with Liverpool’s stellar performance has created one of the most spectacular comeback in Champions League history. Messi can only score 2 goals to help Barca win the first leg but is helpless in the second leg.

Roma 3-0 Barca, the second leg of the 2017/18 Champions League quarter-finals

Like the match against Liverpool in the semifinals of the 2018/19 season, Barca also won Roma with a score of 4-1 at home in the first leg. But the Catalan club unexpectedly lost 3 goals without an equalizer in the second leg and had to pity to leave the tournament with the away goal rule.

Notably, Messi was stunned in both matches.

PSG 4-0 Barca, the first round of the 1/8 Champions League 2016/17 round

Unlike the aforementioned pairs, this time Barca lost a lot in the first leg away from home and played the role of a comer in the return leg at home. They lost 4 goals before they won a spectacular 6-1 at the Nou Camp.

In particular, the last 3 goals were scored after the 88th minute and Sergi Roberto’s decision came in only 90 + 5 minutes. In this match, Messi contributed to the score to increase the score to 3-0.

Barca 0-7 Bayern Munich, 2012/13 Champions League semi-finals (2 matches)

Another shameful Barca defeat in the Champions League took place against Bayern Munich in 2013.

They lost 4 goals on away field in the first leg before losing 3 more goals at home. At that time, Messi was only present in the first leg and was absent in the second leg due to injury. Then, Bayern Munich won Dortmund in the final to complete the historic treble. Now, they are aiming for the same goal after winning the Bundesliga and the German Cup.

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