Post Messi era is something we don’t talk about; we would like to not talk about. Because we are not yet ready to talk about Barcelona without Messi or even imagine Barcelona without that guy, Lionel Messi. There are sure talks about Messi having a chance to leave Barcelona for City as he will be a free agent in the coming season, there are also rumors of Messi joining PSG lately. But, Do we believe Messi will leave Barcelona? I guess we all don’t.
But, let’s be honest about it, if not next year, there is soon going to be a time when Barcelona will be chanting someone else’s name while he takes the free-kick, there will be some other guy who will show up his number at Bernabeu to make the Madrid fans cry in their sleep. There might be some other guy in the captain’s armband who will make a vow at Camp Nou to bring the Champions League trophy back home. But, the main question is, have we found such a guy yet?
Is there any youngster who is that capable of filing the emptiness that will be left by Lionel Messi? Let’s talk about it.
Lionel Messi as a Player
To talk about Messi and judge him as a player is something one shouldn’t be allowed to, one shouldn’t be permitted to, because he isn’t one normal player. His skills as a player, his vision, his playmaking, his ability to rise on occasion, his capability to make his presence count, everything he does in a game is outrageous and, above all, beautiful.
“After 5 -10 mins, he has the map. He studies and smells the weak point of the back four. He’s a genius. “
Pep said in the documentary, This is Football, “He’s always scanning the game. Moving his head, left and right from the very first minute.” His playmaking ability is something that is admired by all. Messi can go 4-5 seasons without scoring much goals and people will still talk about him because he’s just magnificent. Messi sure has scored way too many goals, which makes him GOAT, but it is his understanding of the game that sets him apart, by miles.
What I am trying to say is Barcelona finding another player as capable as Messi is impossible. So, Barcelona needs to prepare a collective force.
The past and present Barcelona
In the Xavi-Iniesta era, perhaps, Barcelona would survive without Leo because they had this healthy Barcelona style of play, mastered by the genius Pep Guardiola. They had their rhythm; they had the ability to create as much chance as needed out of nowhere. And, Messi, he was a part of it. Messi enjoyed his best years during that era, he was a forward, but he was slowly transforming into a visionary footballer from that era. That is probably the only time when we can say Messi had probably the best teammates ever.
But in current Barcelona, or say, Barcelona after the departure of Xavi, Iniesta, Messi has been the one, All in one. Messi is creating chances; he’s going forward, he’s helping new strikers grow and gain confidence, he’s doing the sole job of Midfielder as well as a striker. This year Messi hasn’t scored much, but who has been leading the score chart in past years for Barcelona? Messi. Who has created much chance for Barcelona? Messi.
People say we are Barcelona; there will be other players in the future, so Messi isn’t that big. But, it is to be understood that there might be another player who will be a great striker; there might be another player who will be a magical midfielder. But to have a player as complete as Messi again can only be a dream at Barcelona.
Post Messi era
Barcelona has been very poor in the past few years. They haven’t won the Champions League in the last 5 years. The transfers have been laughable, the amount of money thrown just to have a stable, perfect 11 is outrageous, and La Masia youths’ state and the opportunity for them to make it to the first team is minimal.
So, it’s going to be even more difficult for Barcelona to prepare for post Messi era than ever. By this time, Alena and Puig should have been given more opportunities because these La Masia midfielders have a way they are shaped to.
Araujo and Mingueza should have been given chances even without having to have all main defenders injured. They got lucky because of injuries of main team players, or else, a year ago, most of us hadn’t even heard of Araujo or Mingueza. Cucurella shouldn’t have been sold. There are just so many examples that display Barcelona’s ability to entrust in the youth team, youngsters with potential contradicting how Great Barcelona used to be.
They know the Barca style; if not that, they know there are those kinds of passes they need to find, and they can execute them as well. For a better Barcelona in post Messi era, the most important thing they need is, A creator.
Barcelona has frittered away tons of money on strikers and some decent amount of midfielders. Still, if you look into the team, there aren’t many players who are capable of creating as many chances as created by Messi alone.
We got De Jong from Ajax, he’s good, but he hasn’t been as flawless as we had expected him to be. He makes mistakes occasionally, which can be acceptable, but other than holding the ball well, he hasn’t done much. It was the same about Arthur Melo, we had anticipated him to be the next Xavi, but all he would do most of the time is hold the ball. Coutinho is doing a decent job, but he came here with that price and is only doing a decent job is quite unacceptable.
Pjanic is quite good in terms of playmaking, but the problem is, he doesn’t have many years as well. Pedri does have massive potential. If Barcelona keeps counting on him and if god forbids, injuries don’t ruin him, he can be a brick to the foundation of the Post-Messi era at Barcelona. The same goes for Fati. He’s a youngster with great, great potential. He isn’t as sharp as Messi; he isn’t a great dribbler as Leo, but with time and hard work, he will contribute to FC Barcelona for a long time.
In my opinion, Barcelona needs to take care of players like Fati, Puig, Pedri, and Araujo, and Mingueza to prepare Barcelona for The post Messi era.
Giving more opportunities to youngsters with potential, building a strong back four, and having a proper 9 in the team is essential for Barcelona to thrive.
With Messi, you have fewer problems to fix, but things will be different for sure without Leo. All we can do is hope for everything to be set once a new Perfect President comes in. The President who formulates a proper project, keeps Messi at this FC Barcelona till Messi can play football and perfectly prepares for the club after the magical boy from Rosario hangs his boot.