The 19/20 season will unfortunately be remembered for two things for Barça: for being a terrible one collectively, and for being Messi’s last. Sadly, it seems like we won’t see Leo with the number 10 over red and blue colours, even with the club’s training kit, again anytime soon.
It’s not to criticise Leo now that he’s leaving whatsoever, but in my opinion, while over the past decade and a half he had been improving and evolving almost with every single passing season, in the 19/20 the decline or lack of progress has become more obvious. In the 18/19 he was truly spectacular, being more complete than ever, but possibly this term he has not equalled such level in those facets.
His dribbling has obviously not been as sharp as when young, while he has missed more clear chances than before, perhaps for fatigue or discomfort. That said, this is just because we are ultra demanding with Messi, and because he has been influenced by the team’s poor year. Leo has been playmaking a lot, many times being a quarterback with excellent balls almost from the halfway line. 31 goals and 26 assists in all competitions, being the first to record 20+ goals and 20+ assists in a single La Liga season.
Do we need to sell Messi to rebuild our squad? For me no. The Argentinian does much better with the type of players that Barça needs for the future: mobile, smart, with a deep understanding of our methods. Riqui, Ansu…And if we put Leo central or as a false 9, we can find the balance we have not had. But of course, it seems like there’s no way back, so we will have to look at the few positives of his departure.