Lionel Messi vs Alaves: 5 signs that indicate Leo could be gearing up for another record breaking season
Lionel Messi had a summer to forget. Argentina crashed out of the World Cup in the round of 16, with Messi scoring only 1 goal in 4 games. The disappointment and heartbreak seemed to have burdened him as he left the field after the defeat at the hands of eventual champions France. There was a lot of criticism from the skeptics. Rival fans had a field day. There were also questions whether the greatest player in the world could get out of the shadows of disappointment in the new season.
Which made things very interesting when Barcelona faced Deportivo Alaves at the Nou Camp in their opening fixture of the new La Liga Season. Valverde started with Dembele and Suarez alongside Messi in the attack and decided to go a little conservative in the midfield with Busquets, Sergio Roberto and Ivan Rakitic. However, Alaves did well to keep the scores 0-0 at half-time, though much of the blame could also be put on the chances missed by Suarez and Dembele. In the second half though, Valverde brought on Coutinho and moved Sergio Roberto to right back and things began to fall into place. Messi took matters into his own hands when he scored from a delightful free kick in the 64th minute. Coutinho doubled the lead in the 83rd minute and Messi finally put the game to bed with his second of the night in the 2nd minute of injury time. Barcelona had 25 shots in the game, with 9 of them on target. They enjoyed 79% possession, attempting 876 passes with 89% accuracy.
Barcelona won the game comfortably with a 3-0 scoreline, but this game highlighted 5 signs that indicate that Lionel Messi could be gearing up for another formidable season ahead
#5 Breaking (and Making) Records
When Messi scored the first goal of the game from a low freekick, he registered the 6000th Barcelona goal in La Liga. Incidentally, the 5000th Barcelona goal in La Liga was also scored by Lionel Messi, back in 2009. And by opening his account in the 2018/19 season, Messi became the first player in the 21st century to score in 15 successive seasons. Messi has scored 385 La Liga goals already and he shows no signs of stopping now. By registering two new records in the first game of the new season, Messi has made his intentions clear – he plans to attain greater heights this season.