Lionel Messi has been destroying opponents with extreme fondness for the last few years, but the media have hit back with heavy criticism of the Argentine after he has been withdrawn from the action in the last few weeks. Messi has been branded as the chief culprit behind Barcelona’s three consecutive defeats. The club has effectively played with only 10 men on the pitch during this three matches in Messi has not been working hard enough according to the media. The statistics from the Champions League defeat at the hands of Atletico Madrid certainly did not help matters for the Argentine superstar.
It showed that he had covered very little ground – in fact just a little more than the goalkeeper – during this defeat that saw Barcelona fail to reach the semifinals of the competition for the first time in seven years. There have been suggestions that Messi has been trying to protect himself from burning down especially with the World Cup in mind. Former Barcelona coach Cesar Luis Menotti has also come to the support of the player by saying that the 26-year-old appears to be suffering from mental tiredness.
Messi has been constantly playing football for the last few years. This season has marked the first time the player has missed several months due to injury.
“Messi has to overcome the sadness of poor performances and rediscover the joy, pride and passion it takes to play at a club like Barcelona. I’ve seen more mental fatigue than physical. It’s normal when there are a lot of games and he has many obligations. Maybe a couple of days rest would help him recompose his head and be the best in the world again,” said the former coach. Despite his perceived problems, Messi still has scored 38 goals in the league.