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Jul 20, 2021

Lionel Messi has provided Barcelona with a massive boost by committing his future to the club and taking a significant pay cut to ease their financial woes. The Argentine was out of contract at the end of June, and Barca’s financial issues left his tenure at Camp Nou in doubt. However, Messi agreed to take a 50% reduction on his contract to secure a five-year deal with the Catalonian club.

Barca is undergoing a rebuild of their squad due to their problems off the field. Junior Firpo, Jean-Clair Todibo, and Matheus Fernandes have all been allowed to leave in a desperate bid to balance the books, while further departures are to be expected. Sergio Aguero, Eric Garcia, and Memphis Depay have all been added to the squad on free transfers, highlighting how prudent Barca has become in the transfer market.

Messi made a sacrifice to remain at Camp Nou in the hope of ending his career on a high note with further LaLiga and Champions League crowns. Since their last triumph in 2015, Barcelona has been challenged in their quest to add further European titles to their collection, suffering a Round of 16 defeat at the hands of Paris Saint-Germain last season.

Despite their issues and struggles over the last six years to reach the final of the competition, Barcelona are among the leading contenders in the Champions League odds alongside Manchester City, Chelsea, Bayern Munich, Liverpool, and PSG. Ronald Koeman’s men will be reliant on the skills of Messi once more, and the need for Depay and Aguero to jell immediately into the side.

Messi has carried the fortunes of the club on his shoulder more or less by himself since Neymar left in 2018. Luis Suarez’s skills were on the decline before his move to Atletico Madrid, although Barca was certainly better off retaining the Uruguayan. Antoine Griezmann and Ousmane Dembele have failed to make a decisive impact, while Ansu Fati’s bright start was halted by a serious knee injury. Fati’s development could result in the Spaniard easing the pressure on Messi in the final third, but a lot will hinge on his recovery and whether he can maintain his express pace.

Messi will have to rise to the occasion once more, although, at the age of 34, Barcelona is still asking too much of the forward. It is reminiscent of Messi’s issues with Argentina at major tournaments when the Albiceleste have been too reliant on their man. The forward can power his team through on his own against inferior opposition, but once the quality of the opponent rises, even Messi has been overwhelmed. At Copa America, Argentina did show that if Messi receives support from the likes of Angel Di Maria and Lautaro Martinez, who really came to the fore, then success can be achieved.

Should Barcelona click in the final third in the same manner they could challenge the best in Europe once more as they did to devastating effect in 2015. However, Koeman cannot afford to ask too much of his superstar once more. Barca needs to become a well-rounded team and not just Messi and ten players in their bid to win the Champions League.

All About FC Barcelona is a Blog dedicated to the Most prestigous Club in the world, FC Barcelona by an ardent fan. Here I discuss about the Latest happening surrounding our Club and present my Views about the same.

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