Messi is tired and lacking power but he wants to recover his best form for the Clásico on Saturday and he has every intention of putting Real Madrid to the sword.
Lionel Messi’s extra efforts are starting to show and he arrived at the Bernabéu on Wednesday in good condition and optimistic but tired and lacking the extra burst he so often shows to seperate himself from defenders. The demanding calender Barcelona are currently in the middle of wading their way through is taking its toll and while he helped Barcelona to a victory against Sevilla with a magnificent hat-trick, he wasn’t as explosive against Real Madrid.
“He was a little tired, but there’s no need to give it anymore importance,” those in the dressing room who are close to the player said. “He ran, he fought and he was well marked.” The truth is, it was Dembele’s speed and Luis Suarez ruthless finishing that dragged Barcelona over the line in the Copa del Rey semi-final.
Messi lost 15 possession in 94 minutes. He dribbled successfully twice but he tried another three that didn’t work out and gave 42 successful passes out of the 535 Barcelona gave as a team. OPTA say he tried created two attempts at goal, which was the most by any Barça player.
Messi connected with Busquets 13 times, Sergi Roberto eight times and Dembele three times. But he only found Luis Suarez, who he has an excellent understanding with on the field, twice.
The Argentine wants to recover his best form and play well on Saturday. He knows that he owes Barcelona a massive game in the Clásico and he has an opportunity at the weekend to do just that and it could well end Real Madrid’s hopes in LaLiga if he does.