How many times have we heard those that
are bizarrely critical of the genius that is Lionel Messi say the
“If he wasn't in a team with Xavi and
This has, of course, ignored the fact
that Messi's international form has greatly improved in recent
fixtures, and has actually been a standout performer in Argentina's
excellent World Cup qualifying campaign.
However, the chance to test the
validity of this statement will definitely come at the weekend, when
Barcelona must face Mallorca without the Argentinian, and possibly
the second-leg of their Champions League tie with Paris Saint-Germain
There is no doubt whatsover that
Barcelona will miss the mercurial influence of Lionel Messi. It is
fair to say that any team will regret the non-appearance of a player
that has scored 130 goals in the last two seasons!
But Messi exerts a much greater
influence on the Barca side that merely as a goal poacher. Not only
does he contribute a great number of assists for other players, but
he is simply the man who all other players look to, the player around
whom all Barcelona attacks are centerd. When Barca need a bit of
inspiration to get them back into a game, Messi provides it. When
they need some vision to break down a resolute defense, Messi
provides it. When anyone in the Barca team has the ball, they
instantly look for an option, and Messi always provides it.
If Messi needs Xavi and Iniesta to play
well then it follows logically that they should flourish in his
absence. Let's see how they get on without him.