Is Barcelona an average team without Lionel Messi?

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It seems a longing pain but Barcelona are again humiliated in Europe. The Blaugranas have had 2 faces this season: a ruthless top side in La Liga and an average underperforming side in Europe. It seems quite evident by the fact that they have lost all their big games this season. The team suffered a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Real Madrid in the Clasico. The performance drew criticism as the team looked clueless and Real Madrid made lightwork of them. The month of October has been really poor for Barcelona as they have lost out when it mattered the most. The team failed to step up and thus the consequences are there.

Well, the defining moments are the ones in the Champions League. They have been disgustingly poor in putting away their chances in the UCL. The Catalans were on the verge of playing Europa League football once again this season before they even faced Bayern Munich. It feels so harsh given the squad they have got this season. Lewandowski has been nothing but sensational for them. But the Polish have not had much support which has made the team over-dependent on him. He has fired in 14 goals already this season. But Xavi is frustrated with the results and the performances the team is putting in despite being second in La Liga.

But the team once again failed to deliver on the big stage. They have exited the Champions League this season as Bayern Munich were comfortable winners at Camp Nou. The Germans ran over the Spanish team as they Dismantled them 3-0. Once again, it is now Xavi against the world. It is a big question as to why competing in Europe is a big task for them. Lewandowski had no major chances against his former club again. It seems that Xavi’s tactics are working in the league but not in Europe. Now they will be playing Europa League football for the 2nd season in a row. The Europa League already has some of the biggest teams in the world and it will be tough competition for the Catalans.

Lionel Messi, the key to Barcelona’s comeback in Europe?

Despite the disappointing results the team has had, Xavi is still optimistic that it is just a rough patch that they have hit. It is also an understatement to what he has achieved here since he has come. He took the team from 9th spot to 2nd in La Liga last season. Xavi’s win % is the worst of all the coaches that have coached Barca. But they had someone who can never be replaced. It was Lionel Messi who bailed them out of the worst situations and made Barcelona compete every season with the top clubs.

Andres Iniesta also had a say on a possible Messi return to Barcelona.

The Messi of before and the one of now is different from all. He is number one. The only thing he has done is grow, improve himself, and make his teammates better. A team with Messi has a very important point to achieve victories and titles. I haven’t seen anyone do the things he does. Going back to Barcelona is never easy, but Leo can come back; it’s still a possibility.”

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