Lionel Messi explains how Barcelona are better without Neymar
What's the story?
Neymar became the most expensive player of all time when he made a highly publicised move from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain. While many fans and pundits predicted that Barcelona would struggle this season, the Blaugrana have proved all their critics wrong and are looking almost unbeatable.
Speaking to WorldSoccerMagazine (via the Daily Mirror), Lionel Messi spoke about Barcelona's form and Neymar's departure:
"Without Neymar, we are more balanced. His departure led to a change in the way we play. We have lost a lot of our offensive potential but we have improved in defence. We have more balance and this allows us to be more solid."
In case you didn't know...
Barcelona have been in incredible form in the 2017/18 campaign. Yet to taste defeat in the league this season, the Blaugrana are also in the Copa Del Rey final and are favourites to win the match against Chelsea in the Champions League.
Also, with the arrival of Coutinho in the January transfer window, fans are optimistic about a truly historic season under Ernesto Valverde.
The heart of the matter
While Neymar is undoubtedly one of the best players in world football right now, the Brazilian's presence in the team along with Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi did make the Barca team extremely lopsided.
After Neymar's departure to PSG, Barca have become noticeably more solid in defence and with the arrival of players like Paulinho, the Blaugrana have added an extra dimension to their game and have added more physicality to the team.
It is no wonder then that Lionel Messi feels that the team is more completed and rounded after the sale of Neymar.
Neymar has been on fire for PSG. It will certainly be interesting to see how the Brazilian fares against Real Madrid in the Champions League.
Neymar's sale did look like it could derail Valverde's campaign before it even started. However, with some intelligent buying and astute tactics, Valverde has transformed Barcelona and the Catalan giants are now looking almost invincible.
The Blaugrana do indeed look like a more compact and solid team and Messi's comments show that the players and coaching staff have not really been adversely impacted by the departure of Neymar.