Dean Fellow 24/10/2020 12:05
Leo Messi, hungry. (Graphics: Carolina Arichman)
You all know the famous phrase “If you love someone – let him go”. After being lied to inside, throwing his best friend in disgrace and making him the “bad guy” in the story, Barcelona had to respect the request of the best player in its history to leave, but the club’s worst management ever did not.
Leo Messi Gave his blood for Barcelona for years, felt (perhaps rightly so) a sense of exhaustion and saw President Josef Maria Bartomeu turn his back on him and not allow him to move a team. The flea, unintentionally, caused the most tumultuous summer in Catalan history, but at 5pm at the Camp Nou against Real Madrid, he will have to put everything behind him. The big Clasico between Barcelona and Real Madrid, like all Spanish league games, will be broadcast on Channel ONE for subscribers of yes, HOT, Cellcom TV and Partner TV.
Here it comes: the first Clasico of the season
So what makes this Clasico so special for the Argentine? The answer is probably the mental state he will get into. Right now, with how delusional it sounds, he is not where he wants to be one hundred percent, and this has been evident on him since the beginning of the season – whether it is in facial expressions on the pitch, nerves towards his opponents and especially from such a feeling that he is off, hunched over.
Messi, what are you thinking about?
In so many cases in the past the flea could have left Barça and also made more money. Chelsea, Manchester City and even Real were willing to pay his release clause before extending his contract for the last time in 2017. Number 10 chose to stay out of pure love for his youth team, for which no player has done so much for him. No wonder he feels betrayed? Definately not.
Luis Suarez recently said he maintains regular contact with Messi in correspondence, which whether the Argentine wants to or not, subconsciously reminds him of the professional injustice done to his best teammate on a daily basis. The understanding between these two on the pitch was blind, and beyond that the Uruguayan has scored the most goals in the Clásico since arriving at Barça, even more than number 10.
In practice, without the Uruguayan (and in fact without a proper ‘9 ‘in the team) it turns out that Messi, a player who should be happy to demonstrate his best ability on the pitch, serves as captain and leader, but mostly as a mentor of the next generation. Ronald Koeman’s appreciation for him is great and the Dutchman understands the sensitivity of the situation Messi is in, but the latter is fantasizing about a reunion with Pep Guardiola, or at least a coach who would not agree to work under Bartomeu.
Demons from the past
Messi is a player who does not like to lose. He hates it most of all. At the beginning of the previous decade, when Barcelona’s name came up in the discourse among sports fans, it was called one of the best teams in history, now it is “the one that snatched 3-0 from Rome, 4-0 from Liverpool and 8-2 from Bayern Munich”. Flea has been called a “loser” in many cases in his career, especially after the finals with the team, and he knows he has to make an impression.
There is no doubt that if the disgraceful display against the Germans was his last game ever at Barça, it would have been a piece of stain on his incredible career. Messi wanted to leave, but in his stay he gets a tremendous chance to make this season, perhaps the last in the team, successful and one that will be remembered for good. The opportunity to do that starts first of all against Real Madrid at the Camp Nou.
What’s happening to him this season?
It’s no secret that this season opened in a somewhat lame way for Messi, at least when it comes to numbers. Since returning from the Argentine Corona he has scored just seven goals in 19 league games (four on penalties), with only one goal in four rounds this season, also in an 11-yard free kick. In recent interviews he has said he is less looking for the gate, but he knows it is not an excuse. Barcelona owes him a record, because as long as he is there, no matter who is around him, the team depends on him first.
Get a crazy figure. Barça is a team that scores a lot of goals, in most cases the most in Europe, and in the last 5 of the 12 seasons, Flea has the direct involvement of more than 50 percent of the team’s exiles (including last season and relatively poor for him). In the rest of the seasons he passes in most cases the 40 percent. This statistic is expected sooner or later to straighten out this season as well, and he will be happy to start starting it in the Clásico.
Clasico with tremendous significance
The opening whistle of the upcoming Clásico will mark 902 days since the last time the king of goals and cooks at all times of the encounter found the net. It happened 2: 2 at the Camp Nou on May 6, 2018, when Cristiano Ronaldo was still at Real. Too much time has passed, and he knows it. Messi has since taken part in five games without subduing Courtois, facing him not scoring since the Belgian arrived at Blancos. In fact, the flea did not cook in them either.
In other words, this Clasico will determine whether Barcelona are capable of taking the championship back. In case of victory, especially if the flea conquers it, the answer will be yes and it could very well be that it will take him on a new path and help him open a clean slate and re-believe in Coman and his teammates, while in case of loss Catalonia will return to Messi vs. Bartomeu. A little tip for number 10, imagining the president’s head wearing on Tibo Courtois, maybe that will help.
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