Stats: Lionel Messi of 2011/12 season vs 2014/15 season
The 2014/15 season turned out to be a spectacular one for FC Barcelona as the La Liga giants concluded their campaign on the highest note possible, sweeping all three major trophies ( La Liga, Copa Del Rey and UEFA Champions League) they competed for.
And with their historic second treble under new manager Luis Enrique, the club from Catalonia cemented their legacy as the only club that has ever managed to achieve this extraordinary feat.
And much of that success can be owed to a certain little genius who has been massively responsible for their glorious achievements on a consistent basis. That man is none other than the magician from South America, Lionel Messi.
Hailing from Barca’s revolutionary youth academy La Masia which has built its reputation for producing prodigies time and again, Messi, since his arrival in the senior team, has taken the footballing world by storm and has fortified himself at the pinnacle of the game for the past six seasons.
The Argentine has claimed the Ballon d’Or on four occasions which in itself is a record, and along with his Real Madrid rival Cristiano Ronaldo, has been head and shoulders above the rest of the lot.
Messi’s game continued to evolve and just got better with each passing season. 2011/12 season perhaps is a testament to this fact as after winning his first treble with Barca, the 28-year-old continued to dazzle the footballing globe with his inhumane statistics and even though Barca fell short of capturing any of the major trophies in that campaign, Messi stacked up an incredible 73 goals and also lead the assists charts with 29 which is his personal best till date.
But hamstring problems began to hamper Messi’s numbers in the following season as Barca endured a rare trophyless 2013/14 campaign. Questions of Messi losing his interest in the game were raised by critics and after an agonising defeat in the 2014 FIFA World Cup final against Germany, the story was no different in Barca colours as the Catalans commenced their new season in an unconvincing fashion with Messi and co still giving the impression of a side that were playing well below their potential.
Breaking down Messi’s stats of the 2011/12 and 2014/15 seasons respectively:
|Season||Games||Goals||Chances created||Assists||Penalties||Freekicks||Open play goals||Goals (after +1 dribbles)||Trophies|
|2011/12||60||73||149||29||14||3||56||24||Spanish Supercup, UEFA Supercup, FIFA Club World Cup, Copa Del Rey|
|2014/15||57||58||143||27||6||2||50||13||UEFA Champions League, La Liga, Copa Del Rey|
Several transfer rumours involving Messi began to emerge during the initial portion of 2014/15 season and cracks began to appear on the unbreakable bond between the Argentine and the club that nurtured and developed him into the player that he is today. Speculations of the iconic no.10 finally departing his boyhood club after ten years of playing at the highest level made the headlines and Messi eventually felt hurt for being pushed into the limelight for wrong reasons.
How did he respond? Well, that wasn’t a secret behind closed doors as he made sure his reply was heard all over the world by getting back on to the pitch and kickstarting Barca’s road to success. With the aid of his new partner Luis Suarez and Brazilian sensation Neymar, the trio dubbed as MSN literally took apart every opponent that stood in their way and delivered all the major trophies that was up for grabs.
Messi finished the season with 58 goals from 57 games and provided a total of 27 assists across all competitions. That may seem average when compared to his numbers back in 2011/12, but his performances helped Barca collectively as well.