FC Barcelona continues to feel the effects of playing in the post-Lionel Messi era as they’ve only won two of their last five fixtures and sit eighth in the La Liga table.
The poor form has many supporters and pundits questioning the future of manager Ronald Koeman. In an interview with Voetbal Internacional (via AS), Koeman singled out Messi for disguising the problems at Barcelona.
“Messi has disguised everything,” Koeman said. “He was very good, and he was winning. Of course, he had good players around him, but he made a difference. Thanks to him, everything looked better. This is not a criticism but an observation.”
There’s no denying that since the departure of Neymar Jr., the Spanish club became more reliant on the 34-year-old even though he performed at a high level.
However, when it came to pushing for another UEFA Champions League, it was clear that Barcelona was not in Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain levels. The two clubs convincingly eliminated them in the knock-out rounds over the past two years.
It will be interesting to see how supporters and the media in Spain receive these comments. Of course, everyone knows that Barcelona leaned heavily on Messi in his final years there, but perhaps it’s one of those comments not to acknowledge publicly.