Barcelona No. 10 and captain, Lionel Messi has gone 3 games without a goal and the last goal he scored was against Atletico Madrid and it was a penalty, prior to that he went 3 games without a goal but providing assists to Suarez, Rakitic and Ansu Fati.
The Argentine has played a total of 9 games since the restart scoring 3 goals, 2 out of which is penalty and most of the matches have ended with a single goal margin or ending in a draw.
Barcelona has played a total of 9 games after the coronavirus lockdown was over and he has played in all of those games. The Blaugrana has scored 17 goals and Lionel Messi contributed just 3 goals to that, providing 8 assists, it is as if the Argentine has dropped back to the midfield and he only goes on his marauding runs once in a while which has not just reduced Barcelona goals but their penetrating powers.
By his exceptional standard, that is very terrible returns from Messi. So the question is what is wrong with Messi?
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The Barcelona team is filled with players in their 30s and that has seen them getting tired and in need of more rest. After their match on Saturday, Quique Setien said in a press release "Messi absolutely needs rest" according to Movistar. He said further " If we had scored more goals in the first half, some more players could have been rested".
Throughout his career, he does not like to be sub off, we have seen him playing through injury all through his career at Barcelona. He is older now, his body is not like before and he does not heal like before. The frequency of the games after the restart is also contributing to the tiredness.
Luis Suarez did not start the game but he did come on at the half time. Setien said, "It is good to give him rest, Suarez has played in five games and played nearly all of them so he had to rest".
Since the Spaniard took over Barcelona he has been trying to take them back to the old tiki-taka way of playing but he is doing that at the wrong time because of the pressure exerted on this old bodies and players. He is the right coach for the Blaugrana team but at the wrong time.
To fair to him, Quique Setien has helped the team reach balance by allowing the goals spread around the team and that is obvious with the number of assists he is providing to players on the field. Messi is the only player ever to score 20 goals and provide 20 assists in La Liga history and that is where the issue lies because we see Lionel Messi trying to do the work of a playmaker and also a scorer at the same time. that has stretched him thin and could have resulted in the low turn out for the Maestro.
The speculations over his possible transfer are also not helping him psychologically going forward. He is a big lad, a senior, and professional player so he should be used to that by now but the fact that when his team is not performing up to standard could let those thoughts get into his head and affect his mental composure.