Cristiano Ronaldo left Real Madrid in the summer of 2018, and with him, when it comes to El Clásico, Lionel Messi "left also. It is as if the Argentine's hunger for competition in the biggest game of Spanish football has been seriously reduced, when his favorite "enemy" is not on the other side of the field.
The last in a series of duel between Barcelona and Real Madrid was played on Saturday night at the Nou Camp. Although the host had the title of mild favorite, the Madridians celebrated with 3: 1 and warmed up the already turbulent atmosphere in the heart of Catalonia to the point of eruption.
Another El Clásico passed without the seal of Barca's "ten" And a complete curiosity: since Cristiano Ronaldo left Real, Messi has not scored a single goal in El Clásico! Nor has he had any assistance since.
Since the day when Ronaldo discharged Real's jersey, five matches have been played in the championship and two in the Cup between the Spanish eternal rivals. Messi missed one due to injury, and he played on the others.
But looking at the statistics, it was as if he wasn't there. The stats are devastating for him, mostly because he is the record holder in the number of goals in the history of El Clásico. As many as 26 times, the Argentine shook the net of the Royal Club on all fronts, Cristiano stayed far behind him with 18, the legendary Alfredo di Stefano with 16 ...
Messi could have further improved that score, but he seems to be missing his motivation on the field - Cristiano Ronaldo. Or the spirit that drives it, whatever. Leo can't or doesn't want to get used to the new, Koeman's Barcelona.
He is not there with his head, he wants to do the job by the end of the season and go. The statistics from the beginning of the season are far from his usual: six games - two goals. It will be, it seems, another painful season for Barcelona fans..
Now it is necessary for Koeman to try to get as much as possible from a team that does not seem to have enough motivation and courage to win. It is certain that Messi is the leader of this team who should start the younger players and motivate the entire team to keep Barcelona where it belongs.
It is necessary that everyone is 100% dedicated to every game. If things continue like this, we will have to wait a long time for the old Barcelona, which instilled fear in all teams.