Barcelona's outing this season has produced more questions than answers. The Blaugrana's level of performance so far leaves a lot to be desired. They've been struggling to win matches and currently don't look like they are fully ready for the challenges of the campaign. To make matters worse, Lionel Messi has been on a slow goalscoring run, giving fans a serious headache.
The goals have refused to come for the Argentine maestro as he has bagged just two goals in the Champions League and 14 in La Liga. At this stage last term, he already had six goals to his name in the European tournament and 25 in the Spanish top-flight.
It won't be a ride in the park for Barca this season as the Catalans will need their talisman to be banging in the goals if they want to go far and win anything during the campaign. While fans continue to hope that the 32-year-old will find his scoring boots as soon as possible, let's quickly take a look at the possible factors behind his slow run in front of goal this term.
#1 Fitness issues
It is undeniable that Messi has a decent fitness record in his career. However, it appears he has hit a rough patch with regards to his injury problem this season, which has affected his form and hindered his progression in the campaign.
The Argentine damaged his calf muscle during a training session at the beginning of the season and was ruled out of action for about four weeks. He returned from that layoff only to go on another break after injuring his thigh in a clash against Villareal in September last year. To make matters worse, he spent more than the expected time to recover.
The six-time Ballon d'Or winner missed a number of games as a result of these setbacks and he hasn't been at his normal level of performance since then. The attacker is believed to be playing through pain at the moment, with a groin injury still troubling him. With that, it is easy to see why his return in front of goal has dropped.