‘I see him with a lot of discomfort’: Juan Sebastian Veron says Lionel Messi is in the wrong formation without the right players as he brands Ronald Koeman’s Barcelona a team ‘with a lot of spare parts’
- Lionel Messi has struggled for his usual Barcelona form during recent weeks
- It followed a turbulent summer in which Argentine tried to leave for Man City
- Former international team-mate Juan Sebastian Veron senses Messi ‘discomfort’
- Ex-Manchester United and Chelsea man says formation and selection is wrong
- Messi could come up against Cristiano Ronaldo when Barcelona play Juventus
Lionel Messi is feeling ‘discomfort’ at Barcelona as the team struggles to rediscover its identity, according to Juan Sebastian Veron.
These are times of transition at the Nou Camp after a trophyless 2019-20 season that saw the humiliation of losing 8-2 to Bayern Munich in the Champions League.
It led to Messi, 33, trying to engineer a move away from Barcelona by handing in a transfer request before backtracking when faced with a looming legal battle.
Lionel Messi cuts a dejected figure as Barcelona lose Saturday’s Clasico 3-1 to Real Madrid
It hasn’t been the most encouraging start for Ronald Koeman following a turbulent summer
And he is struggling to recapture his form at the beginning of the new campaign as manager Ronald Koeman tries to get the best out of the team.
Ex-Manchester United and Chelsea midfielder Veron, a former Argentina international team-mate of Messi, says he can sense a problem.
‘I see him with a lot of discomfort playing in a team in transition,’ Veron told Ole.
‘In all these years at Barcelona he was a key player but now they’re in transition, they have a lot of spare parts and are trying to find an identity.
‘It seems clear to me that, to a certain extent, the club haven’t been able to provide Leo [with the right team-mates], especially in their formation and as a team.
‘This, somehow, has gone against him. He’s a player who has always tried to be competitive and stay at the very top.’
Messi’s former Argentina team-mate Juan Sebastian Veron (right) senses his ‘discomfort’
The Argentine star dodges a slide challenge by Casemiro during Saturday’s Clasico defeat
Messi has scored two goals – both penalties – and provided three assists in six appearances for Barcelona so far this season.
It followed a turbulent summer in which Messi wanted to leave the club, potentially for a reunion with former manager Pep Guardiola at Manchester City.
The situation is likely to repeat itself in forthcoming transfer windows with Messi free to push for a move away from Barcelona again in January.
Barcelona looked well short of their best in Saturday’s 3-1 Clasico defeat to Real Madrid, who won last season’s LaLiga title.
Messi could have been reunited with Pep Guardiola at Manchester City over the summer
And things won’t get much easier when Barca travel to play Juventus in the Champions League on Wednesday evening.
Messi could come up against his rival Cristiano Ronaldo but only if the Portuguese returns a negative coronavirus test.
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