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3 players who must step up for Barcelona after Messi's injury

Elvis Ume O
ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
19.20K   //    21 Oct 2018, 17:56 IST

Messi has been ruled out for three weeks due to injury
Messi has been ruled out for three weeks due to injury

Barcelona and Sevilla clashed in a top of the table fixture at Camp Nou, with Barcelona looking to usurp their visitors from the summit of the standings.

As it happened, their mission was accomplished, as the Blaugrana triumphed in a 4-2 victory which brought an end to their poor run of form which saw them winless in four LaLiga matches.

The match also brought Messi in fore attention, firstly for his magic on the pitch as the Argentine was responsible for his club's first two goals, setting up Coutinho for the opener before himself finding the net with a solid finish.

Midway through the first half, Barcelona fans at Camp Nou got a scare as Messi landed awkwardly on his elbow, and after much speculation, it was decided that he couldn't continue the match.

After his departure, Barcelona rallied to see out the victory, but fans around the world waited with bated breath for updates on Messi's injury.

As it happened, the injury was not as serious as first feared, with reports emerging that the 31-year-old would be out for three weeks, which comes at a critical point in Barcelona's season, as they would face eternal rivals Real Madrid as well as potential table-topping deciders with Inter Milan in the Champions League.

Lionel Messi is Barcelona's talisman, and the most important player in their illustrious history, as with him, Barcelona fancy their chances of beating anybody anywhere in the world.

His injury comes as a big blow at this point, but even without him, Barcelona still possesses some of the best players in the world who would be expected to step up to the plate in Messi's absence. Here are the three most important players who would need to step up to deliver for Barcelona.


#3 Phillipe Coutinho

Coutinho is an integral part of Barcelona's attack
Coutinho is an integral part of Barcelona's attack
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The 26-year-old is the most expensive player in Barcelona's history, following his €142m transfer from Liverpool in January. Coutinho was signed to be the long-term replacement to Iniesta at Barcelona, and the Brazilian has fitted seamlessly into the role.

The legendary Barcelona midfielder departed for Vissel Kobe in Japan at the end of last season, and although Coutinho admitted that he has a long way to go before earning comparisons with the Spanish icon, even his harshest critic has to admit that Coutinho has played his part almost perfectly.

The Brazilian has scored 11 La Liga goals in 27 appearances, including three this season, and has offered a different proposition to Barcelona's attack. His unique shooting ability from distance is a useful weapon in Barcelona's arsenal, particularly against opposition who defend deep and allow the Blaugrana to hold possession.

The Barcelona number 7 was signed to primarily offer creativity from the wings, but in their number 10's absence, he would have to do considerably more.

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