Lionel Messi, widely considered one of the greatest foorball players of all time, has spent the majority of his career with Barcelona. During his tenure with the club, he has amassed an impressive array of statistics, solidifying his place in the folklore of Football history. His achievements on the field have cemented his legacy as one of the greatest soccer players of all time.
He holds the record for the most goals in La Liga history with 435 and the most hat-tricks in La Liga history with 36. He also holds the records for the most goals in a calendar year for a club with 79, and most goals in a European club competition with 126. Messi has also set records in the UEFA Champions League, being the player with the most goals in a single European competition with 17 and the most goals in a single European competition season with 14. He also holds the record for the most goals in a single club competition match with 5.
Xavi Hernandez, a former Barcelona player and current coach of the team, has yet to see his side score a goal from a direct free kick. The last goal from a direct free kick for Barcelona was scored by Lionel Messi in May 2021. This highlights an area where Xavi’s Barca needs to improve upon, as set pieces can be an important source of goals for teams. Under Xavi’s tenure, Barcelona has not been able to capitalize on their free kicks and it is an area they will need to focus on, However this is just one of the areas where Barcelona have lacked since the departure of the current Paris Saint-Germain Forward Here’s a look at all the areas Barcelona have lacked in since the Argentine’s departure:
We would look at the statistics from last time Fc Barcelona won the league in 2018/19 and compare them to the Current season of 2022/23 where Barca are also leading the league currently.
Passing and Possession
In the 2018/19 La Liga season, the Blaugrana saw a strong emphasis on passing, with an average of 614 accurate short passes per game. However, this precision was offset by a relatively high rate of possession loss, at 8.4 per game. Additionally, there were an average of 12 unsuccessful touches per game. Despite these issues, the overall passing performance in the league that season was rated at almost 7.
Fast forward to the current La Liga season, and we see a slight decline in passing accuracy, with an average of 520 accurate short passes per game. The rate of possession loss has also increased, now at 11 per game. Additionally, there are now 14.8 unsuccessful touches per game. As a result, the overall passing performance in the league has dropped to an average rating of almost 6.5.
Dribbling and obtaining Fouls
With Messi, In the 2018/19 La Liga season, dribbling and obtaining fouls were a strong point for the team. with teams completing an average of 13.7 dribbles per game. Additionally, the Blaugrana were able to draw an average of 14.5 fouls per game. This combination of successful dribbling and drawing fouls earned the league an overall rating of almost 6.9 for this aspect of the game.
Fast forward to the current 2022/23 La Liga season, and we see a decline in both dribbling and obtaining fouls. The average number of dribbles completed per game has dropped to 8.8, and team is drawing an average of 11.7 fouls per game. As a result, the overall rating for dribbling and obtaining fouls has dropped to 6.5. Messi completed 169 Successful Dribbles during the 2018/19 season more than anyone else in Europe’s Top five leagues so the Catalan club are definitely missing him for his dribbling ability.
Shots and Goals
The 2018/19 La Liga season was an interesting one for FC Barcelona in terms of their performance in shots and goals. During this season, the team had an average of 0.9 shots from the 6-yard box per game, 8.2 shots from the penalty area per game and 5.7 shots outside the box per game. These statistics demonstrate the team’s ability to create scoring opportunities from various areas on the field.
In terms of goals, the team averaged 2.4 goals per game, with 0.5 goals coming from outside the box and 1.5 goals coming from the penalty area. This indicates that while the team was able to create a high number of chances, they were not always able to convert them into goals.
Fast forward to the 2022/23 La Liga season, the team’s performance in shots and goals has seen some changes. They’ve improved in shots from the 6-yard box per game and shots from the penalty area per game but had a decrease in shots outside the box per game. The team’s goals per game has seen a slight decrease, and the team is not scoring as much goals from outside the box. However, the team’s goals from the penalty area per game has increased slightly. Overall, it’s clear that FC Barcelona has been working on improving their ability to create chances from close range while maintaining their proficiency in creating chances from the penalty area.
Xavi’s Barça is yet to score a goal from a direct free kick. The last one was scored by Leo Messi in May 2021. pic.twitter.com/uBVl7poLVj— Barça Universal (@BarcaUniversal) January 28, 2023
Read more: “Guess the farmer doesn’t have enough GOATS”- Fans react to huge 50-hectare Lionel Messi image cultivated by Argentina’s farmer
“Life after Messi” challenge
However, it is clear that Messi has been an integral part of the team’s success over the years, and his absence will have an impact on the team’s performance. Fc Barcelona have not made made it past the group stages since Messi has left the club, so Messi absence did have its consequences, however the team is on course into their “Life after Messi” adventure.
Messi has been the team’s top goal scorer for many seasons and his ability to create scoring opportunities for himself and his teammates is unmatched. He is also a leader on and off the field and his presence in the team has a big impact on the team’s morale. It still remains to be seen who will hold the mantle at FC Barcelona after Leo Messi, but the future looks to be bright in the hands of Former player Xavi, and a young core of Talented players like Pedri Gonzalez, Pablo Gavi, Ronald Araujo and Alejandro Balde.
Gavi getting that Messi treatment and he is just 18 years old 🔥 pic.twitter.com/8o8i7AYsu4— FC Barcelona Fans Nation (@fcbfn_live) January 22, 2023
Barca is currently Blessed with a mix of Youth and also blessed with experience in the form of the “old guard” of Sergio Busquets, Jordi Alba and Sergi Roberto, with Gerrard Pique hanging up his boots in November.
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