Even if Robert Lewandowski and Raphinha were to join the starting lineup up front, their contributions would still pale in comparison to Messi’s. It’s a bitter pill that all Barça supporters must take.
Knowing how to score goals is one thing, but being able to create them is another in football. Lewandowski is a great goalscorer (world-class!) but not a very good playmaker.
Leo Messi is a complete player who can defend, play midfield, or even in the goal itself and still produce quality chances for his team, something that Lewandowski would have a hard time doing.
I don’t want to be too harsh on Xavi just yet, but I think he needs to rethink his decision on the team composition if this Barcelona team is going to develop into a serious contender in the European club championship. It’s a terrible plan to start Pedri and Gavi and sit Franck Kessie and Pjanic on the bench.
It’s not cool to start a player like Ferran Torres, who does little to help the team and often blows golden opportunities.
Don’t get me wrong: Pedri and Gavi are both very young and have a lot of potentials. However, the expectations placed on them are far more than their actual level of achievement. They have no chance of stopping teams like Bayern Munich if they can control the ball in the middle of the field.
Without Leo Messi, your side would not have the same attacking effect without a strong combination in the middle of the field.
It will be difficult to see Lewandowski shine on the La Liga greatest scorer sheet if he isn’t provided with good feeding before long.
Once more, I’d like to think Xavi is a genius who is trying to make the best decision possible. Whatever the case may be, he did a fantastic job against Real Sociedad by making second-half substitutions of Ansu Fati and Raphinha.