As everyone who follows the world of football is no doubt aware, Barcelona superstar Leo Messi had to be substituted off at half-time in their match against PSG yesterday.
However, worries about Messi’s injury and its possible effect on Barcelona have been drastically overstated by the media and many fans. Click through for why.
1) He may not be out for long, anyway.
The trouble with jumping to conclusions quickly is that you typically don’t have all the facts. Yesterday, newspapers were filled with headlines about Messi being out for 2-3 weeks and being doubtful for the semi-finals and woe is Barcelona! Today, the club released a statement saying that he could be fit as early as the second leg with PSG next week.
The former sells papers, but the latter is accurate. Fans should avoid jumping to conclusions so hastily.
2) Missing a league game is not a big deal.
The one thing everyone agrees on is that Messi will not be playing against Mallorca this weekend. What many people fail to acknowledge is that it’s entirely possible Messi wouldn’t be playing against Mallorca anyway: with such an important game next week, he might have been benched regardless. Barcelona can also afford to lose a few points if it comes to that, and Mallorca are a pretty poor side that Messi shouldn’t be necessary to dispatch in the first place.
3) PSG cannot park the bus.
Barcelona sometimes struggle when teams park the bus, and I think that would be doubly true if Messi was not available. However, PSG cannot afford to park the bus in the second leg: as it stands, Barcelona move on on away goals, and having two means that PSG really won’t be able to breathe unless they score two without Barcelona scoring any. They can’t park the bus. If they do, they won’t move on.
4) Messi is not the only star on Barcelona.
Barcelona may seem like the Leo Messi show at times, but Messi is far from the only world-class player on the team. Many members of the team play an integral part in one of the most decorated national teams ever, and two have been in the top three in the Ballon d’Or multiple times in the past three years.
Leo Messi may be the best player in the world, but Barcelona still have an absurd amount of talent without him, and PSG will have a difficult time containing the likes of Xavi, Iniesta, Busquets, Alba, Pedro, and Alves.