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‘Messi is carrying the Barca team on his shoulders’

Lionel Messi
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Ex-Barca midfielder Edmilson claims the club’s over-reliance on Lionel Messi can leave them vulnerable against Napoli in the Champions League.

Lionel Messi being the only source of brilliance for Barcelona has contributed to their recent slump in form, believes Edmilson.

An inconsistent Barca side post lock-down only had themselves to blame as they watched rivals Real Madrid pip them to the La Liga title.

Despite Messi winning the Pichichi and breaking ex-teammate Xavi’s assist record, it was not enough to clinch domestic success.

However, the Catalan giants still have a lifeline for silverware in the Champions League. First, they must go past an in-form looking Napoli side of late with the aggregate tied at 1-1.

While the Spanish giants will look up to Messi to conjure some magic on that day, ex-Brazil international believes that could also come to their disadvantage.

The former Blaugrana midfielder told Radio Kiss Kiss: “On Saturday a Champions League match will be played after a long time and the qualification is open for both teams because playing in a situation like this where there are no fans, I believe Napoli can go to Barcelona and take their chances.”

“[Gennaro] Gattuso’s team must continue to play as they have been doing and not be afraid of Barca, because the Blaugrana won’t be scared.”

“After the pandemic the league was fraught with difficulty, but they are still Barcelona. They are playing at home and they are always favourites.”

“Barca are, however, experiencing a shady moment. A moment where Messi is practically playing alone and loading the whole team on his shoulders.”

“They have also changed their coach during the current season.”

It isn’t the first time over the past week that Barca’s over-reliance on Messi has been spoken of.