Friday, October 19, 2018

Messi produces incredible individual display against Tottenham

David Nugent in Editorial, UEFA Champions League 4 Oct 2018

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The great debate over whether Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi is the better player or even the greatest of all time will go on until the next superstar arrives to replace the 30-somethings.

It will be hard to match either player’s ability or impact on the game in the last decade. Sometimes people are bogged down in the arguments that they forget to enjoy the pair’s performances.

However, on Wednesday night Messi gave us all a reminder of why we watch football in Barcelona’s 4-2 Champions League win at Wembley.

Involved in everything Barcelona created

When Barcelona are at their best Messi is usually the hub of their brilliance. He creates for his teammates, scores goals and is a general menace to opposition teams. Wednesday night’s display was Messi at his best.

The diminutive Argentinian was involved in all four of Barcelona’s goals, scoring twice and playing a part in his teams other two goals. The forward could have had two more goals, but for the base of the same post denying him twice in the second half before eventually scoring his first of the game.

He was constantly looking for the killer pass and moving his team into advantageous attacking positions with his clever movement.

The fact that Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino came out and claimed that Spurs were not beaten by Barcelona, but Lionel Messi shows just how much of an influence he was for the Catalan giants throughout Wednesday night’s game.

I have also read many comments from Spurs fans praising Messi’s performances, which shows they are real fans of the game.

On a different planet

Lionel Messi once again illustrated why he is one of the best footballers ever. Alongside Ronaldo, Messi is simply on a different planet to any of their contemporaries. They have different attributes, but it is hard to see any player reaching their sheer numbers and influence in the near future.

Tottenham are a decent team, albeit weakened by the absence of key players. However, Messi made the team from north London look like amateurs on Wednesday night. Spurs suffered the sort of Messi masterclass that he regularly dishes out to opponents.

The fact that Messi produces such brilliance on a consistent basis has almost negated his brilliance at times. I do not believe that Messi’s brilliance will be appreciated until he retires and he is no longer provides us with such entertainment.

Barcelona one of the favourites because of Messi

Barcelona are now second favourites to win the Champions League at odds of 5/1, with only Manchester City shorter odds than the Catalan giants to lift the trophy.

In terms of team strength, the current Barcelona team is not the greatest on paper. Last season they coasted to the Spanish top-flight title. However, they have weaknesses, especially in defence.

The club signed Clement Lenglet to help solve their defensive problems. It is still early days in the Barcelona career of the Frenchman. The jury is still out on the former Sevilla defender.

Despite not having the best team, Barcelona will always have a chance of winning games and trophies with Messi in their team. Football may be a team sport, but the forward just stands out far above his teammates and opponents.

In truth, I believe that Barcelona will win La Liga again this season, despite their current lull in form. However, unfortunately for Messi, I cannot see the Catalan giants winning the Champions League, as his teammates are just not good enough.

With Messi now in his thirties, it would be nice to see the little Argentinian win the Champions League title once again. If ever there was a man who deserved another winner’s medals for services to his team it is Messi.

Will Barcelona win the Champions League this season?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Nugent


David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The experienced writer has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.

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