Messi came to the rescue again but Barcelona time has come to prove they deserve his loyalty
After another week of speculation about his future, the Argentine stepped out of the bench to reverse Sunday’s conflict with Real Betis.
In the first half of the clash between Barcelona and Real Betis on Sunday, Lionel Messi sat in the bleachers of the Estadio Benito Villamarin and told the story The story of Blaugrana's struggle. After another offensive failed, he blindfolded his eyes and covered his head with his hands. The Argentine must be thinking when Ronald Koeman would ask him to correct instead of not correcting it.
Messi is one of the first-team regular seasons remaining on the bench in the First Division. Wednesday's Copa del Rey semi-final against Seville will be held here, and the first leg of the Champions League against Paris Saint Day will be the first. Germaine was only nine days away in one round.
Frenkie de Jong, Pedri and Sergino Dest were also retained, but the most impressive thing was that Messi was absent from the starting lineup. Without him, it would be difficult for Barcelona to create, because without Messi, the normal Antoine Griezmann obviously can't do anything to attract the attention of the Betis defender away from him.
The visitor did not shoot at the target and did not foul during the 45-minute football match. It wasn't until the 56th minute that Koeman finally slackened. His team trailed 1-0 to Borja Iglesias' close-range shot. The introduction of Pedri in the half-time did not change the game. In 136 seconds, Barcelona stood firm, and Messi made a low shot from the edge of the penalty area after cutting into his left foot.
Within 12 minutes of his introduction, they took the lead because Messi's overweight first ball made Jordi Alba pass Griezmann, Griezmann ) In turn saw his botched efforts achieve his goal with the help of Betis defender Victor Ruiz. If it wasn’t clear before, it’s okay now-although they tried everything, only Messi is nearby for Barcelona to continue to play a role.
This season before Sunday’s clash, the Camp Nou remained undefeated in six games without Messi, but these games included two Champions League deadlocks and one against the third division opponents of the Americas. Cup matches and matches against two of the current semifinals. But faced with the challenge of achieving European qualifications under Manuel Pellegrini, they could not cope without the talisman. All of this has once again created a huge elephant, which continues to sit in the center circle of the Nou Camp, while Barcelona is working hard on and off the field: Messi's future.
The past week has again been dominated with talk of what happens at the end of the season for the six-time Ballon d'Or winner; from Angel Di Maria Calling for his compatriot to join him at PSG to Koeman hitting out the media for relentlessly questioning him on the subject.
As revealed by Goal on thursday, messi is yet to make any decision on his future, with reports of ongoing talks with clubs such as PSG and Manchester City wide of the mark.
But while sitting in Sevilla waiting to play, he must be wondering if he still wants to be a player when he is about to turn his 34th birthday, and seems to be the only player who can make Barcelona surpass mediocre opponents.
With the club in financial turmoil, there is unlikely to be a big money arrival to take the pressure of Messi should he decide to stay,Although teenagers Pedri and Ansu Fati have shown the ability to produce magic moments, they should not take on more responsibilities that can be handled, especially if Fati´s struggůles to recover from the knee surgery have a lasting effect on his game.
And though it was not Messi who proved to the match-winner on Sunday, with fellow substitute Francisco Trincao curling home the winning goal in the 3-2 victory three minutes from time after Ruiz had atoned for his earlier error with a goal at the right end, it is clear the result would not have been possible without his intervention.
Does he really still have the drive to carry this side to victory over teams they should be beating with ease while potentially continuing to fail at the highest level?
If not, on this evidence Messi's supporting cast must improve fast to show they can deal with his departure. Who do you think will replace messi in Barcelona?