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Messi FC or FC Barcelona: Més Que Un Club

Atreya Jha
2.55K   //    14 Oct 2017, 11:56 IST

Barcelona v Eibar - La Liga
Does the spotlight only pan on Messi or is there more to Barcelona?

The current fad in the world of football memes commands intrigue as these memes embody the fierce rivalries between fans. In the wake of the World Cup qualifiers, I saw one such meme on Alexis Sanchez on how he was having the worst week in football. Out of the World Cup, out of the Ballon d'Or shortlist and back to Arsenal, the sad story of a talisman.

As funny as it was it made me think how Messi had to single-handedly carry Argentina to the World Cup and has to come back to Barcelona and do it all over again and continue doing it till he hangs up his boots (here’s hoping that day never comes).

Barcelona fans are a spoilt breed, the demands they have each season can’t be matched by any fandom in sports, rivalling the demands of hostage rebels. Who could blame them? You can’t start eating canned tuna when for the last ten years you’ve only had lobsters and caviar with truffle oil now, can you?

Another thing Barcelona fans are known for is their penchant for voicing their opinion, cue: the rum-rum, the name given to the tension the stadium exudes when heading to halftime with a 1-0 lead, a scoreline any fanbase in the world would be content with at any point in the game. Not at the Catalan Coliseum though, such mediocrity has no place in the Camp Nou.

Who are they to be blamed here? When you've been subjected extensively to the brilliance of greatest midfield trio in the world with the likes of Xavi, Iniesta and Sergio Busquets you get accustomed to greatness, with Messi up top finishing off the chances and scoring truckloads of goals you can't be blamed for wanting exciting, attacking football. You could blame it on the MSN, the fabled trio that was destined to fail with their massive egos running rampant but the went on to win another treble. There’s one common name in both the treble winning sides, a certain Leo Messi.

With Neymar gone, breaking the MSN while at it, the team along with the club has never seen itself so reliant on a single player; but then again of all the players in the world, past or present if you had to find a player to shoulder responsibility the list wouldn’t need to go beyond Messi. Leo Messi casts a long shadow, just ask Neymar.

Barcelona fans, as outspoken as they are, have a saying, ‘If you want to leave the shadow of Messi you don’t change teams you have to change sports.’ Rightfully so, such is the aura of the man.

Football is a team sport and the essence of the term is best explained by a typical Barcelona rondo on the pitch. Despite that evocative picture that we associate then with, open any recent match Barcelona have played in and you would see that anything good about Barcelona only comes through one man. Which is fine, against the minnows but put a BBC led Real Madrid or a BBC shielded Juventus and you see the cracks in the system, if there is a system at all.

The death of the system would be Barcelona mimicking the tried and utterly failed system that Argentina have had with Messi, which could be summarised with a saying, “ What happens when you give a coconut to a monkey? It cracks its skull.” Leo Messi is the human embodiment of the Excalibur sword, in the right hands it can change kingdoms, upset the order and cause havoc. The thing to keep in mind is that the sword needs its hilt or the hands could get castrated by the blade and ultimately fail to complete the prophecy.


RCD Espanyol v FC Barcelona - La Liga
Lionel Messi will be asked to step up to the plate every time he performs

An abysmal to mediocre, depending on who you ask, transfer window certainly didn’t help. Once again begging Leo Messi to cover for an ageing Iniesta, misfiring Luis Suarez, injured Neymar’s replacement and that Xavi heir that never comes. This transfer window was the clear indicator of the way the club handles itself in tricky situations, like a fish out of water.

Clubs don’t always get everything they add to their wishlist but the way this club was all over the place with its transfer targets indicated a clear lack of vision and understanding in prioritising the position requiring immediate replacement and that elusive major signing to please the fans.

The valiant effort made by Agusti Benedito to dethrone this corrupt and incompetent board and bring about the change that everyone desires has failed, which means the much awaited Messi renewal is going through. Messi and Iniesta not renewing had to be the effect of this motion that filled us with the hope that with a change in board the glory days would come back soon.

It was obvious they wanted to wait and see what this motion could do; there can be no other explanation. This board is destined to stay until 2021 barring any fortunate event and with that so is the Messi dependency. The absolute reliance on him is going to continue and there’s nothing anyone can do about it.

Fun fact (read sad depressing fact): Own goals are the second highest goal scorer for Barcelona this term. Valverde has the cules' vote but he needs to at least try and hide this elephant in the room the best he can. It’s just too predictable and in this sport predictable is detrimental.

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Atreya Jha
"A cross between Sir Kinsgley Amis and Superman." - not THE NEW YORK TIMES.
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