Lionel Messi | PSG Watch

AltiUn

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His team is in shambles too though and he may not even be playing CL football next year depending on how the season goes.
Pot calling the kettle there mate.
 

Ockham

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Zehner said:
He never ran much and was always a player to burst to life in the right moments. The problem is if you pair that with Neymar and Mbappe who play the same way these days. You can't have three players like that to carry around.

It's a bit surreal to watch. One might think they see themselves that this won't work, especially when in contrast to City's collective work ethic and in Messi's case having played under Guardiola as well.
I don't share your opinion.

Messis workrate was impressive in his early days. He was all over the place constantly running and looking to get the ball or a free space. My earlier post was focused on his total lack of participation in PSG:s defensive play. But as some other posters have mentioned Messi has even bigger problems creating space for himself and others in the attacking play. His lack off movement is absolutely shocking.
I have probably seen 90% of the games he has ever played and this transition started around 4-5 years ago. Still he has made 100 assists in 139 games League games the last 5 seasons (on top of 125 goals) which is 8 more assists than Gerrard did in PL during his whole career and as many as Lampard ever did. But still it has been annoying to watch him since he could have done so much more (especially for his temmates) and it has been sad to see that he somewhat doesn't care as much anymore.
That being said. His performances in PSG is something completely different. He runs even less without the ball and when he has the ball he cannot use his speed to get away from players he normally would leave in the dust. He is either not motivated or are not fully fit since I don't think age can be the only issue since he was really good with the ball in Copa America and dominated La Liga in the spring (which is why he probably wins Ballon d'or.).
And as Amar posted. Messi can't get away with that kind of workrate with less than being absolutely brilliant when he gets the ball.

Neymar/Mbappé is a different cup of tea. Neymar has averaged runs of 10.52 km/match and I think that both he and Mbappé make a lot of runs to make themselves playable.
 

Ekkie Thump

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Maybe he's unhappy, and the injury can't have helped. Must be difficult at a professional level when you've spent your entire footballing life growing through a single system and then move to a new setup in a new country during your declining years. I'm not setting up my violin or anything but its got to be harder to adapt when those are your prior circumstances.
 

genardk

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Yeah but atleast one can still call himself world class at 34… I mean he can do at nearly 37 while the other looks dog shit in a farmers league
One is on his way to 7th Ballon D'or at the age of 34, the other is not even a top 5 candidate (won his last Ballon 5 years ago and probably will never see the podium again).
 

mariachi-19

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Maybe he's unhappy, and the injury can't have helped. Must be difficult at a professional level when you've spent your entire footballing life growing through a single system and then move to a new setup in a new country during your declining years. I'm not setting up my violin or anything but its got to be harder to adapt when those are your prior circumstances.
Looks at the quality of the league, the players he’s currently playing with…

Yeah nah
 

Ekkie Thump

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Looks at the quality of the league, the players he’s currently playing with…

Yeah nah
Well yeah, for sure he should be doing a lot better than he is. I'm looking for reasons he isn't. Can't believe Father Time's chopped his legs off overnight.
 

NasirTimothy

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Well yeah, for sure he should be doing a lot better than he is. I'm looking for reasons he isn't. Can't believe Father Time's chopped his legs off overnight.
He’s pacing himself for a big year next year.
 

Daysleeper

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Yeah but atleast one can still call himself world class at 34… I mean he can do at nearly 37 while the other looks dog shit in a farmers league
Dumb take, Messi has overall had a better 2021 than Ronaldo. Ronaldo struggles against the top 6 as he’s gotten older.

Messi hasn’t looked good this new season at all but still a better year than Ronaldo.
 
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I don’t understand why all the sudden criticism on Messi (or Ronaldo) on their lack of pressing or being lazy on the pitch. When a player has same talent as they do, and scoring that many goals and being so dominating, surely you wouldn’t want to waste their energy on doing those dirty works?
Messi aint scoring that many goals though, that’s why the criticism is coming. You can be lazy as feck if you keep producing lots of goals. If he can pick up there, people will shut up quick enough.
 

NasirTimothy

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Messi aint scoring that many goals though, that’s why the criticism is coming. You can be lazy as feck if you keep producing lots of goals. If he can pick up there, people will shut up quick enough.
This is true but the key is winning the big trophies. That’s the only way to actually silence haters. And even then only until the next season…..
 

Bebestation

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To be fair - all he has to score is 2 goals in a semi final and a final & then things are back to normal for him and his fans.

Maybe he is just saving the energy for that.
 

Morty_

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Ronaldo must be loving it. His biggest difference with Messi is his adaptation and probably, it's a good time to appreciate the former.
Messi is about to get another one in the Ballon Dor lead, and United are worse than PSG, so not really.
 

Bebestation

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Messi is about to get another one in the Ballon Dor lead, and United are worse than PSG, so not really.
It's why I disbelieve this "Messi is now Old Crap"

Just for his last year tenure at his home club Barcelona - he was good enough to be viewed as a Balon D'or player.

Literally few months in to moving away from Barcelona - the guy has gotten old apparently for PSG.


A cherry on top of the cake of Barcelona, that is now just a raisin in a fruit and nut cake of PSG.
 

jamesjimmybyrondean

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I think anybody thinking he's finished are being desperate or ignorant. Although he's part of the problem, the way Psg play is the main reason. Even Neymar is not playing as good as before. The two times I've seen Psg have a good game Messi was arguably the best player.
 

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Messi should come to Feyenoord. Arne Slot has made all our players better and has them in perfect shape. Come play for a real club son.
 

Lay

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Messi’a stamina is pretty shite. Has been for awhile now. The lack of intensive training at Barcelona has probably taken a toll.

I expect him to get 15 goals or so and for PSG to crash out in the quarter finals.
 

Jackal981

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One is on his way to 7th Ballon D'or at the age of 34, the other is not even a top 5 candidate (won his last Ballon 5 years ago and probably will never see the podium again).
What a load of crap. Just because Juve suck donkey balls when he was there does not make him bad. Remember the ridiculous Ronaldo holding Juve back ? How are your team doing without him by the way. He should have won in 2018 instead of Modric.
 

NasirTimothy

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I think anybody thinking he's finished are being desperate or ignorant. Although he's part of the problem, the way Psg play is the main reason. Even Neymar is not playing as good as before. The two times I've seen Psg have a good game Messi was arguably the best player.
They’ll get better
 

KeanoMagicHat

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Thiago Silva had to deal with the league thing for years, then he goes to the so-called "best league in the world" and barely concedes a goal way past his peak. To hear some people 5 years ago, he wasn't an elite defender because he played in Ligue 1. The best players are the best players. It doesn't matter that Messi is in Ligue 1. I expect Ronaldo to be there in a year or two anyway.
 

Relevated

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Thiago Silva had to deal with the league thing for years, then he goes to the so-called "best league in the world" and barely concedes a goal way past his peak. To hear some people 5 years ago, he wasn't an elite defender because he played in Ligue 1. The best players are the best players. It doesn't matter that Messi is in Ligue 1. I expect Ronaldo to be there in a year or two anyway.
Relax dude, your boy isn't performing well, it wasn't gonna go on forever. Listen to some sad songs, read some sad love poetry and cry your eyes out. We're nearing the end of an era.
 

Bebestation

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Relax dude, your boy isn't performing well, it wasn't gonna go on forever. Listen to some sad songs, read some sad love poetry and cry your eyes out. We're nearing the end of an era.
It's mad how a defender like Thiago Silva has become an excuse for an attacker like Messi.

Sounds like ligue 1 is the toughest league ever.
 

Zehner

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The reactions in here are, as always, completely over the top in both directions.

There's no denying Messi had a very slow start at PSG. Yes, he also had good games without scorers and people overlook that but it's also clear that Pocchetino faces a real problem when Messi, Neymar and Mbappe on the pitch. Tuchel's work at Chelsea should speak volumes about the importance of a cohesive and hard working unit in modern football. And that's hard to accomplish when you one of your attacker runs only 8.3 kms and another one (Mbappe) only 7.9. And Messi is part of this problem, like it or not.

On the flipside, saying Messi "is finished" is also a very superficial take after the season he just had and the Copa he played. You also see in his plays that he's still among the best out there: Finishing, dribbling, passing, it's all there. And he always ran as few as he did against City. It is just becoming more obviousand gets pointed out more frequently when things don't work out, especially if the team looks a bit disjointed and he doesn't get on the ball in dangerous areas enough.

The really interesting question isn't if he's finished, the question is if players like him, Mbappe, Cristiano and to a lesser extent Neymar are still worth their "laziness" against the ball in a modern game that's been dominated by teams that consist of 11 hard working players those last few years.
And if you come to the conclusion that no team who wants to win the UCL can allow itself the luxury of carrying such a lazy player, one has to ask the question if any player without exceptional work rate can really be labelled the best in the world anymore, regardless of the skills he possesses.

Right now, it is definitely remarkable that the teams of the superstar players (Messi, Ronaldo, Mbappe, Neymar) have been underperforming for at least 3 or 4 years. There are two explanations for that:

a) They didn't in truly elite teams, especially regarding the coaching, but would still excel in squads like City or Bayern like Messi did for Pep and Cristiano for Zidane while being just as lazy as nowadays

b) Football has evolved and the days of the divas have finally passed. Tuchel's performance at Chelsea seems to imply this. Anyway, this would also mean that teams like Pep's Barca wouldn't compete these days either, because this one also carried Messi's low work rate.
 

KeanoMagicHat

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b) Football has evolved and the days of the divas have finally passed. Tuchel's performance at Chelsea seems to imply this. Anyway, this would also mean that teams like Pep's Barca wouldn't compete these days either, because this one also carried Messi's low work rate.
Messi and Ronaldo were never like Roberto Firmino but they once pressed way more than they do now. They didn't do a lot but they did enough not to be complete liabilities. Messi did once press for Guardiola. In 2009-10, he had an average of 1.2 interceptions per game. Now it's 0.3. He averaged 0.9 tackles per game, now it's 0.2. Ronaldo averaged 0.7 interceptions per game in 2011/12, now it's 0.1.

I can't find the pressures stats from back then but looking at Messi's pressing stats since 2017-18, he had 413 pressures, then it went down to 324, then 287. Now it's 42 (still early in the season, but probably end up 250 odd). So it is a gradual decline with age.
 

NasirTimothy

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Messi and Ronaldo were never like Roberto Firmino but they once pressed way more than they do now. They didn't do a lot but they did enough not to be complete liabilities. Messi did once press for Guardiola. In 2009-10, he had an average of 1.2 interceptions per game. Now it's 0.3. He averaged 0.9 tackles per game, now it's 0.2. Ronaldo averaged 0.7 interceptions per game in 2011/12, now it's 0.1.

I can't find the pressures stats from back then but looking at Messi's pressing stats since 2017-18, he had 413 pressures, then it went down to 324, then 287. Now it's 42 (still early in the season, but probably end up 250 odd). So it is a gradual decline with age.
My recollection is that Messi used to press a lot in the Pep team. That was a pressing team.

The walking around and not pressing began only a few years ago.
 

genardk

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What a load of crap. Just because Juve suck donkey balls when he was there does not make him bad. Remember the ridiculous Ronaldo holding Juve back ? How are your team doing without him by the way. He should have won in 2018 instead of Modric.
Yeah, when it comes to failures it is all teams', managers' fault at Juve, United, Portugal, Ronaldo is blameless. Most Juve fans are happy that he finally left, the main concern was him leaving for free and luckily we found United ready to pay for him. Juve significantly regressed with him just like United now. I see even many United fans complaining about Ronaldo's negative effect on United performance on this very forum, but you can continue to ignore their views as well. He had 5 managers in the last 3.5 years, but of course he is blameless again as usual. Just because he scored against La Liga 13th Villareal, Swiss giants Young Boys, and Atalanta with 5-6 main players missing is not that impressive tbh unless obviously you are a Ronaldo fan.. At PL, he is struggling (a single goal in the last 7 games) being especially unable to score against top sides as usual.. Oh, and that game vs Serbia with a superior Portugal was a complete disaster, but of course he has no part in that failure as well..
 
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Zehner

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Messi and Ronaldo were never like Roberto Firmino but they once pressed way more than they do now. They didn't do a lot but they did enough not to be complete liabilities. Messi did once press for Guardiola. In 2009-10, he had an average of 1.2 interceptions per game. Now it's 0.3. He averaged 0.9 tackles per game, now it's 0.2. Ronaldo averaged 0.7 interceptions per game in 2011/12, now it's 0.1.

I can't find the pressures stats from back then but looking at Messi's pressing stats since 2017-18, he had 413 pressures, then it went down to 324, then 287. Now it's 42 (still early in the season, but probably end up 250 odd). So it is a gradual decline with age.
My recollection is that Messi used to press a lot in the Pep team. That was a pressing team.

The walking around and not pressing began only a few years ago.
Messi never ran much. Here's for instance an article from 2014 about a game in which he ran 6.8 km. His season average in 2014 (8.2) was below the distance covered against City (8.3). It's always been a stick to beat him with when his teams lost. There were always many arguments that defended him, this article provides quite a good overview. Some of them: He doesn't cover large distances but he makes more fast runs and sprints than most. Or that he does it to get into better positions and that it is actually anticipation. Many players have to learn to run less during their developing years to become more effective, it's actually quite a common theme.

In summary, the line of argument was always that Messi moved less but still got into enough positions: His pressing stats were good, he got into enoug goal scoring positions and so forth. Currently neither of this is the case. His pressures per game dropped significantly and he also gets on the ball less frequently in dangerous areas. But this doesn't necessarily have to do with his work rate, it might also have to do with the team shape, tactic, cohesion etc. Of course it is harder for him to "get a grip" on an opponent player carrying the ball or intercepting a pass when there are two other players on the pitch who do as few as him or even less in Mbappe's case.

I guess the stats that would really help to paint a clearer picture are fast runs, sprints, etc. and compare them to previous seasons. I doubt that his stats in these areas are much worse than they used to be because his distance covered remained largely the same throughout all those years. So if he reduced the intensity, this would mean that he would have moved more by walking/jogging etc. and that doesn't seem to be the case.
 

KeanoMagicHat

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Messi never ran much. Here's for instance an article from 2014 about a game in which he ran 6.8 km. His season average in 2014 (8.2) was below the distance covered against City (8.3). It's always been a stick to beat him with when his teams lost. There were always many arguments that defended him, this article provides quite a good overview. Some of them: He doesn't cover large distances but he makes more fast runs and sprints than most. Or that he does it to get into better positions and that it is actually anticipation. Many players have to learn to run less during their developing years to become more effective, it's actually quite a common theme.

In summary, the line of argument was always that Messi moved less but still got into enough positions: His pressing stats were good, he got into enoug goal scoring positions and so forth. Currently neither of this is the case. His pressures per game dropped significantly and he also gets on the ball less frequently in dangerous areas. But this doesn't necessarily have to do with his work rate, it might also have to do with the team shape, tactic, cohesion etc. Of course it is harder for him to "get a grip" on an opponent player carrying the ball or intercepting a pass when there are two other players on the pitch who do as few as him or even less in Mbappe's case.

I guess the stats that would really help to paint a clearer picture are fast runs, sprints, etc. and compare them to previous seasons. I doubt that his stats in these areas are much worse than they used to be because his distance covered remained largely the same throughout all those years. So if he reduced the intensity, this would mean that he would have moved more by walking/jogging etc. and that doesn't seem to be the case.
Fair enough. I feel like though around 2013-14 he stopped running partly as well because of a health problem, he was vomiting a lot after games if I remember and seemed a little bit off for a year or so. Then by 2015 he was somewhat back to his best and started running more again. But young Messi from around 2010 did run quite a bit more.
 

Zehner

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Fair enough. I feel like though around 2013-14 he stopped running partly as well because of a health problem, he was vomiting a lot after games if I remember and seemed a little bit off for a year or so. Then by 2015 he was somewhat back to his best and started running more again. But young Messi from around 2010 did run quite a bit more.
As far as I know the vomitting occurred throughout his entire early career. As far as I know, he changed his diet around that time. Messi said himself that he was eating lots of junk food up until this point in time. Back then there were also stories of how the birth of his second son made him more professional etc.

From the information available, I find it very hard to derive anything about his work ethic. For what it's worth, I'd say he's not putting in less effort than he did for Barcelona. That is by the way also part of the reason why I think the talks of him being finished physically are way over the top. We see players like Modric who on average ran probably 50% more kilometres per game than Messi maintaining a world class level on the wrong side of 35.

It's not about age, it's about tactics and team cohesion, IMO. Ironically, I also think that the "greed" of players like Messi, Neymar and Cristiano actually prevented them from having even better careers. Because in the end, the teams that played the best football as a collective in the past 3-4 years (Liverpool, Bayern, City, Chelsea) can't afford them.
 

KeanoMagicHat

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It's not about age, it's about tactics and team cohesion, IMO. Ironically, I also think that the "greed" of players like Messi, Neymar and Cristiano actually prevented them from having even better careers. Because in the end, the teams that played the best football as a collective in the past 3-4 years (Liverpool, Bayern, City, Chelsea) can't afford them.
I also think there is a type of greed in the way they play at the moment too, not really helping their team-mates, for example in Ronaldo's case, he never gets injured.

But his risk of injury is so low because he never makes a tackle or gets in a difficult situation where he might pull up. In Ronaldo's head, an injury = a few months out = risk of not scoring. Compared to say Cavani who will run all day, but will risk injuries and pain. Ronaldo doesn't risk any pain because it will hinder his quests for goals. Messi is similar. What's also interesting apart from their scoring records, is their appearances. High-intensity forwards are not supposed to be breaking appearance records like they are. The reason they are is because of their complete lack of effort off the pitch. It's conserving energy so they can profit in very specific moments. It is in a way a selfish style.