Retained at the last minute by FC Barcelona, Lionel Messi still hasn’t found his best level, after a particularly prolific 2019/2020 season on an individual level. While the question of a possible decline has been raised, the Argentinian striker has been defended by his coach, Ronald Koeman.
Although Barcelona are coming off a painful 2019/2020 season, marked by the beating they suffered against Bayern Munich (2-8), in the Champions League, Lionel Messi has held his own on an individual level. Indeed, the Argentinian striker ended his last financial year with a record of 31 goals and 27 assists in 44 games. Impressive figures that he will find hard to come up with for what could be his last year in Catalonia.
6 goals, 5 penalties and for good reason
The Pulga has not yet put on the heating blue since the recovery in September. In 9 games, the Albiceleste star has scored 4 goals for 4 assists. Nothing to worry about from an accounting point of view, certainly, but it should be noted that the Barcelona player has only scored from a penalty kick for the moment.
To find the trace of a goal in the game, we have to go back to 8 August against Naples (3-1). That is 967 minutes in all. Never in his career has the Rosario native been so ineffective in front of goal, although he has been criticised in particular for his lack of desire and his cowardly defensive withdrawal in recent weeks.
Koeman doesn’t believe in Messi’s decline
At the age of 33, the question of its decline legitimately arises. Asked about it, the Barcelona coach, Ronald Koeman, doesn’t want to believe it. “He still has a lot of quality and is important in our attacking game. I know he only scored from the penalty spot and we are used to him making the difference, but he is still a very decisive player. Leo is still a very great player. We want to put him where he can hurt our opponents very badly,” the Batave manager told reporters. We’ll meet again this Saturday against Betis in the Liga to try to avoid reaching the symbolic 1,000-minute mark without scoring in the game.