Lionel Messi has been Barcelona’s main man for a long time now. The diminutive Argentine maestro has done things that many thought to be unthinkable over the course of his career. Alongside Cristiano Ronaldo, he has dominated the world of football for the last twelve years.
Since his debut, he has become both the leading top scorer and assists giver for Barcelona, winning six Balon d’Or awards, six European golden shoes amongst other numerous awards. He was also the key figure in two treble-winning seasons in a glorious era for Barcelona.
His continued excellence individually has reshaped the way people perceive Barcelona. From being called a one-man team to being dubbed “Messilona”, the dependency on Messi has been highlighted multiple times throughout his career. The “Messedependencia”, total reliance on Leo Messi for inspiration, has never been more true than it has been these last few seasons at the Camp Nou.
However, it seems that the greatest fears of Barcelona supporters may be finally coming to reality. Despite Messi’s brilliance in the just concluded La Liga season, Barcelona was beaten comprehensively to the title by Real Madrid.
The Argentine could only watch as his side was battered by Bayern last night leading to the thought that finally, age may be beginning to catch up with the footballing genius which would leave his side in a really bad place. In all honesty, this was a situation Barcelona could have easily planned better for.
Since Neymar’s departure to Paris for a world-record fee in 2017, the recruitment in search of a replacement for him has been atrocious. Ousmane Dembele has hardly managed to stay fit, Griezmann looks a shadow of his former self and Coutinho may have just had his best game since moving to Barcelona against them yesterday.
It is quite possible that concerns over Messi’s durability at the top of his game may be overstated as we have seen in Ronaldo’s case who is still going strong even at 35. If he is to hang his boots now, he will undoubtedly as Barca’s best player of all time but leaves behind a team in shambles and probably worse than what he met. Only time will tell what the future holds for Messi and Barcelona.