FC Barcelona has re-stated their intention to challenge for the treble in the forthcoming season. Leo Messi has quoted that he feels that the current team have what it takes to lift the treble again. However, they failed to deliver as they were unable to pick up three points from a tough Leverkusen side, leaving them tied on points with holders Chelsea. This was a really painful end to a disappointing season for Barca fans, but is Leo Messi right, or will they not go on to re-establish their dominance over teams like Leverkusen and Chelsea?
The season is nearly half over and Barcelona have only picked up one point from their opponents so far. They have drawn twice and lost once against teams that sit above them in the standings and they have played just one more game than either PSV Eindhoven or Wolfsburg, who sit below them in the table. For Leo Messi, though, this must be a huge disappointment and they must surely now be considering retirement. Of course, he is still very young and has plenty of time left on his arm, but he certainly seems to be showing a lack of commitment to the Barca cause at the moment. This is not the way that Leo would have wanted to end his career, though.
It seems that recently, Leo Messi has become more of a home-going player, picking up where he left off last season in the final minutes of important games at home to Real Madrid and Valencia. Only once have Barca been able to complete a full 90 minutes at home in the league, when they defeated Valencia in their last league game, but this was against a side who boast arguably the best attacking quartet in Europe (Cristiano Ronaldo, Benzema, Alves and Costa). Against Leverage in the Nou Stadium, Messi made just one pass in the first half and did not touch the ball until the second half when Angelino made a fine substitution on the side. The Argentinean striker looked very uncomfortable throughout, despite the fact that only Filipe Luis and Thierry Henry gave Barca any real threats on the break, and even then it took Messi a bit of time to get into the rhythm of the match.
Such was the dominance of Real Madrid that if Barcelona did win the treble, it would take them nine years and three months to do so. This may seem quite unfair, bearing in mind the talent that Messi possesses. And also bearing in mind that they have been Barcelona’s big boys for much of this season. But Real Madrid have the quality and the experience of a team that knows how to win at the Nou Camp and will have been waiting for Messi to slip into their side. Maybe they simply do not want to lose.
Messi has been a bit unlucky with the injuries that he has picked up this season, most notably to his foot, which he injured during the win over PSV Eindhoven in the Netherlands. He missed the next two games and returned for the win over Malaga, only to aggravate the injury further by picking up a knock again in the process. The second of these was a walk of shame, seeing Messi hobbling along after receiving some well-deserved yellow. By the end of the week, the Argentine had seemingly picked up more knocks and could not start for a game against Espanyol. It was then, perhaps, understandable that Barcelona director Felipe Massa decided that the time was right for Messi to move on and that he would bring in another big name, someone who was available and could provide the goals that the Argentine star was no longer able to provide.
That man is Arsenal’s Mesmerico. And while there is no place in the Spain team for a player who plays like Mesut Ozil or any of the other Barcelona Attackers, Mesmerico does have the ability to do exactly what Messi can’t. Tests can sit back and wait for the opportunities to present themselves, but Mesmerico will never be lazy or wasteful. And if there is one thing that makes him unique it is his ability to score a hat-trick of goals in consecutive games, something that has eluded Messi over the last few years.
So Barca are lining up alongside Toulouse, with whom they hope to emulate their Treble success of recent seasons. And while Barcelona will hope that they can emulate their Treble success in a similar fashion this season too, they will probably be surprised by the speed of their rivals. Indeed, Toulouse have looked very sluggish in their play this season, even going as far as choosing to play an opening game against Sporting Lisbon without any players who had been fit for this season’s fixtures. And although Deportivo are still a good bet for any Spanish title, I doubt whether they have the depth and fitness to challenge any Barcelona side, let alone one that has become such a menace this season.
So, is Messi having his “transfer dream”? Of course he is, and now is a perfect time to get involved. The sooner you back him, the more comfortable you will feel with his game-day management, and the better impact you will make on his game. Don’t wait for next year, when you might be able to influence his decision, because he will make the choice for you from now on.