There’s no doubt that Messi is the best player in Barcelona. He was and still is the key figure in Barcelona’s success.

Messi is directly involved in almost every Barca goal in the last few years. He’s not always at his best, and he lacks inspiration on the field from time to time.

But there’s no stopping him when he’s in top form.

Because of the injury against Atletico Madrid in the last game, Messi will be out of the pitch for 3 weeks.

“They are weakened, definitely,” said Zinedine Zidane. “Not too much, but Messi is Messi with what he brings to their side. Their side is definitely different when he is not there.”

We can all agree with what Zidane said. Messi is Messi, and Barcelona could suffer from his absence. But let’s just look at some stats, to better understand the importance of Messi.

Barcelona matches without Messi last season

  • Barcelona 2-1 Bayer Leverkusen (Champions League)
  • Sevilla2-1 Barcelona (LaLiga, Neymar goal)
  • Barcelona 5-2 Rayo Vallecano (LaLiga, Neymar scores 4 goals)
  • Bate Borisov 0-2 Barcelona (Champions League)
  • Barcelona 3-1 Eibar (LaLiga)
  • Getafe 0-2 Barcelona (LaLiga, Neymar goal)
  • Barcelona 3-0 Bate Borisov (Champions League, Neymar brace)
  • Barcelona 3-0 Villarreal (LaLiga, Neymar brace)

Building a team around your star player is a well-known strategy. But on the other hand, it could be extremely risky because of injuries.

Just imagine how much Barcelona would struggle in the upcoming matches, if they didn’t have Neymar on the team.

Luckily they do, and we believe he can handle the situation. This is not just an opinion, we have facts as well.

Neymar’s full potential was revealed when he had the chance to be the main guy in Barcelona. He even scored 4 goals in one of those matches.

As we could notice in the last game against Atletico, Neymar still has a lot to learn. He has to get rid of the habit of dribbling without a purpose. It’s always risky to lose the ball when you play in Barcelona, because the opposite team is most likely to go after a counter attack on every interrupted ball.

He’s Brazilian, and that is his nature. But if he wants to get to Messi’s level, he has to improve and make better decisions under pressure.

Enrique should focus on counter attacks

Now when Messi is off the field, Enrique should focus on counter attacks as well. Neymar and Suarez are more than capable of organizing a fast and efficient counter attacks.

Iniesta could provide the ball, and the attacking trio should do the rest. Arda will be replacing Messi, and he had few great games at the start of the season.

Let’s hope he continues with the same tempo.

Neymar could switch to the center position and support Suarez and Arda with passes. Iniesta could have a more offensive role too. Enrique should use his creativity to break defenses, and let Rakitic and Busquets cover the defensive part.

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