Football News:The Argentine wizard’s influential and impressive performance all through the season has helped the Catalans to bag another La Liga trophy, and that too remaining undefeated throughout the whole time.
Lionel Messi plays a huge role as Barcelona becomes ‘undefeated’ La Liga champions.
Barcelona wrapped up the title with four games to spare, as they defeated Deportivo La Coruna in a 4-2 away win, thanks to a splendid hat-trick from Lionel Messi.
Messi has always been Barca’s key player. But this season he had been the most influential one too.
Having lost Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain, for a deal of €222 million last summer, it didn’t seem that easy for Ernesto Valverde’s men.
Barca had previously played in a 4-3-3 formation with Neymar on the left, Suarez in the middle and Messi on the right. But with Neymar’s transfer, Valverde had to change the formation to 4-4-2, leaving Suarez and Neymar upfront.
It was not a smooth start as the Blaugrana lost to their arch-rivals Real Madrid 3-1 and 2-0 in the Spanish Supercopa series in August. Besides that, Suarez was struggling with injury and remained off-form during the start of the season.
This left Messi all alone. But it did not stop the Argentine from becoming Barca’s main scorer and also the chief creator. He has scored 32 goals this season along with providing 12 assists for his teammates.
Until now in this season, Messi has created 78 chances, given 84 lay-offs, has completed 164 dribbles and had 86 shots on targets, among which 14 hit the woodwork.
Moreover he had drawn 73 fouls in dangerous places, from which he scored via free-kicks or penalties. One of the six free-kick goals, he had scored in the title test against Atletico Madrid.
After that match, even the opponent manager praised him. "If Messi had been playing on our side, we would have won," Rojiblancos boss Diego Simeone said.
Even when Barcelona’s unbeaten record was at stake against Valencia, Messi came as saviour. In another match against Sevilla, he came off the bench as his team was down by 2 goals, and transformed his team’s play and scored a dramatic late equaliser.
Messi might have scored more goals in previous seasons. But he has never been so much influential before. Valverde has rightly rated Messi’s performance saying, "Every time he touches the ball he's decisive. With and without Messi, the team is different."