Lionel Messi

 

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Lionel Messi

Image from: biography.com

Lionel Messi





Current Club: Barcelona.

Previous Clubs: N/A.

Loan Clubs: N/A.





International: Argentina 124 caps, 64 goals.

Trophies Won: Ballon d'Or 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015. UEFA Best Player in Europe 2009, 2011, 2015. European Champions League 2005/06, 2008/09, 2010/11, 2014/15. Spanish Primera Liga Champion 2004/05, 2005/06, 2008/09, 2010/11, 2012/13, 2014/15, 2015/16, 2017/18. Spanish Cup Winner 2008/09, 2011/12, 2014/15, 2015/16, 2016/17, 2017/18. Spanish Super Cup Winner 2005/06, 2006/07, 2009/10, 2010/11, 2011/12, 2013/14, 2016/17. FIFA Club World Cup Winner 2009, 2011, 2015. UEFA Supercup Winner 2009/10, 2011/12, 2015/16.





Lionel Messi has undergone a number of significant changes in the way he plays the game over the course of his career, from youthful winger to central forward and just about everywhere in between the two. These days he is very much the creative hub of the team, with license to roam, rather than the main scoring threat.



There is still that beautiful skill, the close control that keeps the ball glued to his feet and the sudden burst of acceleration that can take him away from a defender but these days it is usually in deeper areas to create space for a killer ball, rather than to get in on goal for himself.



We talk of players with a wand of a foot that can open a tin of beans and Messi has shown he has one of those, with the ability to spray the ball around the pitch with great accuracy, as well as the vision to spot the runs to pick out. He also has excellent ability on deadballs. Usually you either get a tricky player who can beat men for fun but his delivery tends to be poor, or they have beautiful delivery but they lack the ability to go past a man.



Messi is a special case, he can drop deep and become a playmaker spraying passes around, he can go out wide and beat his man before delivering a pinpoint cross, he can cut in from wide areas and hit a shot or play right up top and play quick one-twos or slalom round defences. Added to that, his finishing in the box tends to be clinical. All of that makes him incredibly difficult to deal with, he has the ability to create his own space or find others who are in space.



However he is not the perfect footballer, his lack of height meaning he is not so good in the air. He lacks blistering pace, though he is far from slow. It is also noticeable in recent years that he does less pressing than he used to and tends to concentrate on saving his legs for when Barca have the ball. In international games that makes little difference as the game is slower paced and it also makes little difference in most La Liga games, with very few offering Barca a genuine test. However, it can cost the team at the highest level in Europe.



Overall the quality of his play more than makes up for any lack of work off the ball and the last thing you want to do is have Messi chasing back deep into his own half and being too tired to get forward. He now concentrates on ensuring he is in space to receive the ball and create something plus keeping something in the tank for the full 90minutes.



Requested by scholes 18 18


Written by Tris Burke June 08 2018 11:46:49

 




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