Lionel Messi assisted Barcelona youngster Ilaix Moriba as he scored his first goal for the Spanish Giants against Osasuna on Saturday. The 18-year-old received the ball from Lionel Messi just outside the box and executed a brilliant drop of the shoulder to beat his man. He then followed that up with a curling effort into the far corner with his weaker left foot. His goal saw Barcelona record their fourth straight win in all competitions.
After the victory against Osasuna, Barcelona legend Luis Suarez has claimed that Lionel Messi has a big role to play in the development of young talents like Moriba at Barcelona. He said:
“For this group of young people it is essential that there is someone like Messi with personality and charisma so that they grow as they should. That is why it is necessary to maintain it."
Lionel Messi is already a leader at Barcelona
According to reports, Lionel Messi has already started playing the role of mentor to the younger players in the Barcelona dressing room. Reports claim that Messi particularly gives "special care" to Ilaix Moriba and monitors the progress and activities of the young Spaniard to ensure he remains grounded and develops at the pace the club believes he can. Moriba is a La Masia graduate just like Lionel Messi, so the Argentine knows what it takes to make the move from the academy to the first team.
The 85-year-old Luis Suarez is a legend at Barcelona, with the Spaniard appearing in the red and blue of the Spanish giants from 1955 to 1961. He has, however, been critical of his former side a couple of times this season, claiming that the Barcelona players make the worst individual and team mistakes.
He is therefore clearly delighted at the prospect of Lionel Messi acting as a tutor to the new crop of players produced at Barcelona.
The Blaugrana's current squad has a fine balance of young talent and experienced players in the side. Lionel Messi, Gerard Pique, Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba are veterans with a wealth of experience. On the other hand, players like Ilaix Moriba, Riqui Puig, Ansu Fati, Pedri and Sergino Dest are some of the young talents in the squad who are fortunate to have such reliable mentors at Barcelona.