Barcelona lost Messi last summer to PSG. This is not an unknown tale. Instead, the whole world knew of the change. Many questioned how FC Barcelona would replace arguably the greatest player of all time. And it is true. Messi’s departure left gaping holes in the team’s offensive arsenal. Leo covered the grave problems in the squad for years through his dominant displays.
The team has largely moved on from losing Messi under Xavi. The one department where the team still lacks the cutting edge is the ability to score from freekicks. It has been over 500 days since Barcelona last scored a direct freekick. On May 2, 2021, the Argentine scored in a 3-2 victory over Valencia. It was the last freekick Leo Messi scored for the club.
Barcelona believes the new left-back is capable of breaking the drought
In the previous season, Pjanic, Pedri, and Dembele have all tried to score from the spot, unsuccessfully. Barcelona, however, pulled some fine signings this summer. The new signings Raphinha, Lewandowski, and especially Marcus Alonso have a decent track record of scoring direct freekicks.
Raphinha has scored some beauties for Leeds United in the Premier League, while Lewandowski has done the same in Bundesliga for Bayern Munich. It is, however, the new signing in the left-back position, Marcus Alonso, whom the coaches, along with Xavi, believe are truly capable of breaking the rather awkward drought.
Alonso debuted in the game against Cadiz. The first start was awarded to him in the match against Bayern Munich. He put up a decent performance in the role Xavi deployed him in.
All eyes will be on Alonso to score a direct free kick and please the managers and Cules alike. He will have many chances to do so.
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