Lionel Messi

HerbT

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What is obvious here is that Barcelona's defense is set so Messi doesn't have to press. I think you gravely underestimate how harmful it is for any team's balance to have someone who's walking that often off the ball. At one point he just bows his head and give up (even if he can still do one of his magic trick when the ball is in his feet).

It actually took months to Guardiola in order to balance his team with mostly hard working players, i highly doubt it will be that seamless if Messi joins.
I think you’re right.
I’m a City supporter and, while I was in awe of Messi and wanted him in our squad for many years. His general lack of athletic endeavour in recent seasons has me doubting that he’ll be seen as a good fit now.
My deeper concern is that we might get him on a long (4 or 5 year) contract, get some success with him by changing the way we play and then farm him out to NYCFC thus leaving us without the ageing centre pin that we’d moulded our play to accommodate.
I can see the attraction of that in terms of commercial revenues etc. but I think we’d be better set for the future, in footballing terms, if we bring in a much younger talent and maintain / polish our whole-team / 11 man style of play.
 

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Well one could also argue, in past 2 season or so, even Barca as a team is getting weak, Messi still able to carry them to challenge for trophies. You can’t say the same this season. He is still the best from this Barca team, and maybe still among top 5 players in the world even just base on this season form, but he could no longer carry this Barca team to challenge for any trophies. His finishing is abit off, and strangely he no longer has high assist numbers this season. Fair enough his dribbling is still there and he still performs better than most.
He always did the heavy lifting, yes, but he still received help from Suarez for example. This Barca side is easily worse than the one under Valverde and even Setien. There's no player in the world who would carry this team to anything, not even Messi.

I mean, at some point he'll inevitably regress significantly but from what I've seen I don't think this is the case already. We'll probably get to see next season though. It'll be really interesting zu see what happens. Everything is possible, he might not be the same player he was with 31/32 anymore but it could also be the case that he hasn't regressed that much since he hit 30 and his performances were actually diminished by the atrocious sides he played in. Just take a look at his managers since Enrique - and not even Enrique achieved anything of note ever since the CL.
 

RashyForPM

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Have you seen Mbappe and Neymar against Bayern? Mbappe vs. Barca is like his first good big game performance in ages and one could even argue Barca doesn't even deserve to be called a real challenge anymore.

If your team is being outplayed, every player looks bad. It's the nature of the game. Put Messi in a team that is able to play on eye level with other world class teams, he'll look better in no time. It's not like he can't dribble past those defenders anymore. And even if that was the case, he would still score a shit load. The reason he only scores against Alaves and co. is that these days Barca is clearly second best in every big match up they have.

If you watch him, you'll notice he's still the best dribbler, final third passer and finisher in the game. And yes, he is better in the latter department than Bruno. He plays through balls nobody else does and does so with overall better passing stats than Fernandes. Your perception is coined by his team's performances I believe and I guess you'll be in for a huge surprise if he really joins City. There'll be no discussion who the best player in the league is if that happens. Messi hasn't played in such a well drilled side since Pep days.
Neymar and Mbappe, you can only judge them on the CL because despite PSG struggling in Ligue 1 this season, there aren’t really any hard games there. In my view, Neymar and Mbappe were excellent against Atalanta and Leipzig, and in the 2nd game against us (especially Neymar in this one, he mesmerised me to the point where I couldn’t even complain about our defence after the game). Of course, Mbappe then had that game against Barcelona which will go down in history as the game which saw Messi evacuate the throne for him.

Alright, PSG were and are well-drilled under both Tuchel and Poch, as are Bayern and unfortunately City. Take a look at Haaland and Bruno then. Generally, Dortmund and United aren’t generally seen as well-drilled, whether under Favre or Terzic for the former or Ole for us. Why have these two outperformed Messi in terms of both against the fodder and the top teams since Setien was hired? Haaland has had stunners against PSG and Sevilla, and scored against Bayern. He regularly bags against Leipzig too. Bruno has had brilliant games against City, Chelsea, Leicester, PSG, Pool as well. Also, I don’t think your point that the whole Barca team looks bad (not just Messi) is valid. Most of them do, but Pedri and De Jong impressed everybody against PSG. No one criticised them.

I’m only mentioning games that were played after Setien took over, because my point is that while Messi was the best before that, he certainly isn’t anymore. Not a chance when I consider the players I listed in my previous post. Put it this way, would this 33 year old Messi certainly on the decline really improve City, us, Bayern or PSG if he took the place of KdB, Bruno, Lewy or Neymar/Mbappe? I honestly don’t think so. If it was a straight swap and the players were on the same wage, there’s no chance I swap Messi for Bruno at this moment.
 

Zehner

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Neymar and Mbappe, you can only judge them on the CL because despite PSG struggling in Ligue 1 this season, there aren’t really any hard games there. In my view, Neymar and Mbappe were excellent against Atalanta and Leipzig, and in the 2nd game against us (especially Neymar in this one, he mesmerised me to the point where I couldn’t even complain about our defence after the game). Of course, Mbappe then had that game against Barcelona which will go down in history as the game which saw Messi evacuate the throne for him.

Alright, PSG were and are well-drilled under both Tuchel and Poch, as are Bayern and unfortunately City. Take a look at Haaland and Bruno then. Generally, Dortmund and United aren’t generally seen as well-drilled, whether under Favre or Terzic for the former or Ole for us. Why have these two outperformed Messi in terms of both against the fodder and the top teams since Setien was hired? Haaland has had stunners against PSG and Sevilla, and scored against Bayern. He regularly bags against Leipzig too. Bruno has had brilliant games against City, Chelsea, Leicester, PSG, Pool as well. Also, I don’t think your point that the whole Barca team looks bad (not just Messi) is valid. Most of them do, but Pedri and De Jong impressed everybody against PSG. No one criticised them.

I’m only mentioning games that were played after Setien took over, because my point is that while Messi was the best before that, he certainly isn’t anymore. Not a chance when I consider the players I listed in my previous post. Put it this way, would this 33 year old Messi certainly on the decline really improve City, us, Bayern or PSG if he took the place of KdB, Bruno, Lewy or Neymar/Mbappe? I honestly don’t think so. If it was a straight swap and the players were on the same wage, there’s no chance I swap Messi for Bruno at this moment.
My point being is that Neymar and Mbappe also look human when their team is being outplayed. And Messi's team is nowadays outplayed in every big match they play. Its not as if he screws up good situations, he doesn't even get into them if the opponent knows what he's doing. That's the big difference.

And yes, apart from maybe Neymar, he'd immediately improve any of those teams if he'd replace the star player. And not even Neymar, who to me is the second best player in the world, is a clear upgrade an Messi as of now. But if you take Bruno for example, it's not even a question to me. Bruno is a great player with great output but he also loses the ball incredibly often. He's defined by his scorers and does less outside of them than Messi does - and Messi does it on a completely different level. He's still a much better finisher than Bruno (that discipline is by the way the only one Messi was really out of form this season I think) and his passing is also on a different level - both in terms of actual passing technique as well as in terms of reading the game and creating the necessary space for himself through dribblings and quick moves. I mean, even in this situation, Messi sits at 13 goals without penalties while Bruno is at 8. Messi in your team would robably be at 20+ goals and 10+ assists already. The one thing Bruno has going for him over Messi is his defensive work rate and I believe it's usually a bad sign if you have to bring up this argument regarding an attacker.
 

amolbhatia50k

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Neymar and Mbappe, you can only judge them on the CL because despite PSG struggling in Ligue 1 this season, there aren’t really any hard games there. In my view, Neymar and Mbappe were excellent against Atalanta and Leipzig, and in the 2nd game against us (especially Neymar in this one, he mesmerised me to the point where I couldn’t even complain about our defence after the game). Of course, Mbappe then had that game against Barcelona which will go down in history as the game which saw Messi evacuate the throne for him.

Alright, PSG were and are well-drilled under both Tuchel and Poch, as are Bayern and unfortunately City. Take a look at Haaland and Bruno then. Generally, Dortmund and United aren’t generally seen as well-drilled, whether under Favre or Terzic for the former or Ole for us. Why have these two outperformed Messi in terms of both against the fodder and the top teams since Setien was hired? Haaland has had stunners against PSG and Sevilla, and scored against Bayern. He regularly bags against Leipzig too. Bruno has had brilliant games against City, Chelsea, Leicester, PSG, Pool as well. Also, I don’t think your point that the whole Barca team looks bad (not just Messi) is valid. Most of them do, but Pedri and De Jong impressed everybody against PSG. No one criticised them.

I’m only mentioning games that were played after Setien took over, because my point is that while Messi was the best before that, he certainly isn’t anymore. Not a chance when I consider the players I listed in my previous post. Put it this way, would this 33 year old Messi certainly on the decline really improve City, us, Bayern or PSG if he took the place of KdB, Bruno, Lewy or Neymar/Mbappe? I honestly don’t think so. If it was a straight swap and the players were on the same wage, there’s no chance I swap Messi for Bruno at this moment.
Messi over Bruno is such an easy decision to make. Bruno is good and puts up strong numbers but Messi is, even currently, a much much better footballer. I don't think it's close at all as much as I'd like it to be
 

Pep's Suit

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Yeah, that agenda is hilarious. People act like he only runs 3kms per game now and can't even make simple 5 metre passes.
 

Bwuk

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I think you’re right.
I’m a City supporter and, while I was in awe of Messi and wanted him in our squad for many years. His general lack of athletic endeavour in recent seasons has me doubting that he’ll be seen as a good fit now.
My deeper concern is that we might get him on a long (4 or 5 year) contract, get some success with him by changing the way we play and then farm him out to NYCFC thus leaving us without the ageing centre pin that we’d moulded our play to accommodate.
I can see the attraction of that in terms of commercial revenues etc. but I think we’d be better set for the future, in footballing terms, if we bring in a much younger talent and maintain / polish our whole-team / 11 man style of play.
I think that's what will happen. Most of the defences in the league are garbage so I think he'll still score a lot of goals, but I don't think he'll be massively outscoring Bruno or Salah.
 

Deery

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Anyone see his goal the other night, one touch takes out two players then casually walks it into the net, makes it look ridiculously easy at times.
 

tomaldinho1

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Messi over Bruno is such an easy decision to make. Bruno is good and puts up strong numbers but Messi is, even currently, a much much better footballer. I don't think it's close at all as much as I'd like it to be
This is just crazy to me. There's no doubt whatsoever who the better player was/is but Bruno's role at United would be awful for Messi at 33, nearly 34 years old. Bruno covers so much ground, puts in a lot of pressing, never holds onto the ball, rarely in a position to dribble at defenders and whilst it's a free role he's like a box2box, AM, CM,No10 all rolled into one messy (no pun intended) high energy ball of erratic magnificence. It'd be like resigning CR7 and paying him in the vacant RW spot at his age, they would just not suit the system.
 

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This is just crazy to me. There's no doubt whatsoever who the better player was/is but Bruno's role at United would be awful for Messi at 33, nearly 34 years old. Bruno covers so much ground, puts in a lot of pressing, never holds onto the ball, rarely in a position to dribble at defenders and whilst it's a free role he's like a box2box, AM, CM,No10 all rolled into one messy (no pun intended) high energy ball of erratic magnificence. It'd be like resigning CR7 and paying him in the vacant RW spot at his age, they would just not suit the system.
But that's true for every player out there. Bring in someone else and the system changes. And there's no coach in the world who'd play Bruno over Messi if he had to pick one of the two. Obviously the way to go would be to find a way to fit both players in but in a scenario in which only one can play for whatever reason, it's Messi any day of the week and suggesting anything else is ridiculous with all due respect to Fernandes.

And I still disagree with all the moaning about Messi's work rate defensively. If there's one thing about him that hasn't changed since his break through, it's his defensive work rate. Even under Guardiola he rarely ran more than 8 km per game.

At this point I kind of hope he joins City. Not because I think the club deserves him but primarily because I want to see the reactions when people see in here see him on a weekly basis. Fully convinced even 34 year old Messi would outshine every player that's currently playing in the EPL.
 

tomaldinho1

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But that's true for every player out there. Bring in someone else and the system changes. And there's no coach in the world who'd play Bruno over Messi if he had to pick one of the two. Obviously the way to go would be to find a way to fit both players in but in a scenario in which only one can play for whatever reason, it's Messi any day of the week and suggesting anything else is ridiculous with all due respect to Fernandes.

And I still disagree with all the moaning about Messi's work rate defensively. If there's one thing about him that hasn't changed since his break through, it's his defensive work rate. Even under Guardiola he rarely ran more than 8 km per game.

At this point I kind of hope he joins City. Not because I think the club deserves him but primarily because I want to see the reactions when people see in here see him on a weekly basis. Fully convinced even 34 year old Messi would outshine every player that's currently playing in the EPL.
I think emotion has taken over common sense here - let's say we signed him in the summer at 34, you're essentially saying Ole would change his whole philosophy for what 1-2 years of having Messi's twilight? This isn't about who is the better player, it's about if he'd replace Fernandes in our system. I'm not even that big a Fernandes fan boy, I think he has a lot of limitations but his role is so different to Messi's.

I'd like to see him go to City for the opposite reason to you, I think he'd weaken them overall. I'd much rather they signed him than Haaland, Kane, Mbappe etc. and we know they're on the lookout for a striker
 

Zehner

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I think emotion has taken over common sense here - let's say we signed him in the summer at 34, you're essentially saying Ole would change his whole philosophy for what 1-2 years of having Messi's twilight? This isn't about who is the better player, it's about if he'd replace Fernandes in our system. I'm not even that big a Fernandes fan boy, I think he has a lot of limitations but his role is so different to Messi's.

I'd like to see him go to City for the opposite reason to you, I think he'd weaken them overall. I'd much rather they signed him than Haaland, Kane, Mbappe etc. and we know they're on the lookout for a striker
We were talking about the here and now, not the perspective. That's obviously a completely different question. But in the here and now Messi is a much, much better player than Bruno, Haaland and Mbappe.
 

VorZakone

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We were talking about the here and now, not the perspective. That's obviously a completely different question. But in the here and now Messi is a much, much better player than Bruno, Haaland and Mbappe.
I'm not convinced of that. Not at all.

Haaland is scoring for fun. Bruno regularly is involved in Utd's goal output and Mbappe is Mbappe.

Messi may be better but not "much, much better".
 

cyberman

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I read his assist total this season is 3? Thats a huge climbdown and points to his drop in influence of controlling the attacking play.
He is definitely on the other side of the hill.
 

Pocho

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I read his assist total this season is 3? Thats a huge climbdown and points to his drop in influence of controlling the attacking play.
He is definitely on the other side of the hill.
He passes the ball to Grisman and BarryWhite, how do you expect he'll assist more?
 

cyberman

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He passes the ball to Grisman and BarryWhite, how do you expect he'll assist more?
He was still raking up the assists with Coutinho, Dembele and an out on his feet Suarez for a while too though.
 

Pocho

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He was still raking up the assists with Coutinho, Dembele and an out on his feet Suarez for a while too though.
plus his involved with key passes in every single goal Barça scores.
 

Lay

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Messi is my goat but I can’t get excited over him scoring against Elche when he constantly is ineffective in the biggest games these days
 

tomaldinho1

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We were talking about the here and now, not the perspective. That's obviously a completely different question. But in the here and now Messi is a much, much better player than Bruno, Haaland and Mbappe.
Well you replied to my post about how he wouldn't displace Bruno in our system and so I answered. Now you are just saying Messi is currently better than the above three but I'd rather have all three ahead of him.
 

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I'm not convinced of that. Not at all.

Haaland is scoring for fun. Bruno regularly is involved in Utd's goal output and Mbappe is Mbappe.

Messi may be better but not "much, much better".
I believe standards are key in this debate. In the past we had seasons in which Messi accumulated the by far best goal and assist stats in Europe although playing much deeper than any of his competitors on average, leading Barca to domestic titles (against a team that won 4 CLs in the span of 5 years), and he was still criticized because he didn't win the CL. People in here were arguing that he's bad for the team and his stats don't cover that. Now imagine the reactions if Messi's team was trailing 10 points behind the first place, went out in the group stage in the CL while he was at 8 goals from open play in 25 games. If Bruno was held to the same standards as Messi, he'd be teared apart by pundits and fans alike. Same goes for Mbappe and maybe even Haaland.

Individually, he still is far better than any of those players. And not by a slight margin. I know it's boring but it's just the way it is. Drop him in that City team and he produces numbers that outshine everyone else again. He excelled in teams that were coached atrociously, had no clear patterns of play and were completely reliant on his ideas. Now imagine him with so much movement surrounding him, a team in which he doesn't have to pick the ball up at the half way line all the time because they know themselves how to get into the final third very well.
 

Zehner

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Well you replied to my post about how he wouldn't displace Bruno in our system and so I answered. Now you are just saying Messi is currently better than the above three but I'd rather have all three ahead of him.
Fair point.
 

MalcolmTucker

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Messi has a better goal to game ratio than Mbappe this season, despite playing for a more dysfunctional team, in a much stronger league.

I don't want to denigrate Bruno as I love him, but Messi has a far better goal to game ratio as well.

Haaland's goalscoring record is absolutely outrageous, but he's a completely different player with completely different responsibilities.

Messi has double the amount of MOTM awards than all 3 of them this season. Only Bruno can have claim of playing in a more difficult league.
 
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KwokSF

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I kinda want to see him in city team now just to find out how wrong or right his doubters in his thread are
 

ThierryHenry14

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If Man City sign him it is a huge marketing boost for the club, and get a top top player for 2-3 years. Messi's play making is still top notch, and it is a free transfer. If Pep want him then for sure he has a plan with him in the team. No one know how to use messi better than Pep. I visited barca forum the other day and the fans there no longer appreciate him anymore. It is time for him to go.
 

Son

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The excuses here are remarkable. Lewandowski, Cristiano, Neymar, Mbappe, Bruno, KdB, Haaland and Kimmich are all better players than Messi and have been since Setien took over Barcelona.

Best excuse is ‘Mbappe doesn’t count despite scoring a hat-trick in a game against Messi’s team at Messi’s stadium while Messi spent 90 minutes doing absolutely nothing aside from scoring a good pen.’ That one really takes the cake. Also, why would Messi out create Bruno if he played for us when he can’t do it at Barcelona? Love how you left out Cristiano as well.
No offence but you are absolutely clueless about football.

If you watched Juve vs Barcelona you would have seen the gap between Messi and Ronaldo was wide. Messi is head and shoulders above him still so that’s why it’s not in consideration.

Messi is better than Bruno even as a United fan it’s laughable to say otherwise. Even now he’s the best there is on his day. Pretty easily too I might add.
 

Cal?

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No offence but you are absolutely clueless about football.

If you watched Juve vs Barcelona you would have seen the gap between Messi and Ronaldo was wide. Messi is head and shoulders above him still so that’s why it’s not in consideration.

Messi is better than Bruno even as a United fan it’s laughable to say otherwise. Even now he’s the best there is on his day. Pretty easily too I might add.
:lol:
 

VanKenny

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I'd like to see him go to City for the opposite reason to you, I think he'd weaken them overall. I'd much rather they signed him than Haaland, Kane, Mbappe etc. and we know they're on the lookout for a striker
Messi at City, after week 2 would have people on this forum believing he's undoubtly the GOAT. People that think hed make City worse havent really seen much of Messi on the last year.


You may be thinking that 2017-2019 Messi was on the decline right? What would you say if i told you those two are probably on his top 5 of seasons? Current Messi isnt much worse btw, he's just surrounded by worse players, he is still the reason of pretty much anything good that happens at Barca.


The Bruno comparisons just make me laugh TBH.
 

Pocho

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No offence but you are absolutely clueless about football.

If you watched Juve vs Barcelona you would have seen the gap between Messi and Ronaldo was wide. Messi is head and shoulders above him still so that’s why it’s not in consideration.

Messi is better than Bruno even as a United fan it’s laughable to say otherwise. Even now he’s the best there is on his day. Pretty easily too I might add.
Exactly.
 

UnrelatedPsuedo

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But that's true for every player out there. Bring in someone else and the system changes. And there's no coach in the world who'd play Bruno over Messi if he had to pick one of the two. Obviously the way to go would be to find a way to fit both players in but in a scenario in which only one can play for whatever reason, it's Messi any day of the week and suggesting anything else is ridiculous with all due respect to Fernandes.

And I still disagree with all the moaning about Messi's work rate defensively. If there's one thing about him that hasn't changed since his break through, it's his defensive work rate. Even under Guardiola he rarely ran more than 8 km per game.

At this point I kind of hope he joins City. Not because I think the club deserves him but primarily because I want to see the reactions when people see in here see him on a weekly basis. Fully convinced even 34 year old Messi would outshine every player that's currently playing in the EPL.
Messi in that City team would be unplayable. People should be careful what they wish for.
 

tomaldinho1

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Messi at City, after week 2 would have people on this forum believing he's undoubtly the GOAT. People that think hed make City worse havent really seen much of Messi on the last year.


You may be thinking that 2017-2019 Messi was on the decline right? What would you say if i told you those two are probably on his top 5 of seasons? Current Messi isnt much worse btw, he's just surrounded by worse players, he is still the reason of pretty much anything good that happens at Barca.


The Bruno comparisons just make me laugh TBH.
I guess we might see. All I'll say is you have just as little idea as I do, or as anyone does, on how he'd fare in the PL at 34 years old.
When I watch him now at Barca, I see a team that actively makes itself weaker to accommodate him and last couple of seasons his output has come back down to mortal levels.

Whether you think Messi or CR7 is the GOAT, neither is any longer the best in their position today and that's completely natural. Does this mean the likes of Lewa, Kane, Haaland, Mbappe, Felix etc are/will be better than they were? No chance, I don't think we'll ever see their likes again but this summer, if City sign him, my opinion is it's much better for United than if they picked up any of the other players I mentioned!
 

VanKenny

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I guess we might see. All I'll say is you have just as little idea as I do, or as anyone does, on how he'd fare in the PL at 34 years old.
When I watch him now at Barca, I see a team that actively makes itself weaker to accommodate him and last couple of seasons his output has come back down to mortal levels.

Whether you think Messi or CR7 is the GOAT, neither is any longer the best in their position today and that's completely natural. Does this mean the likes of Lewa, Kane, Haaland, Mbappe, Felix etc are/will be better than they were? No chance, I don't think we'll ever see their likes again but this summer, if City sign him, my opinion is it's much better for United than if they picked up any of the other players I mentioned!
Lets just agree to disagree on Messi not being the best at his position. I see him weekly and he's comfortably the most differential player on the pitch every single time and MOTM more often than not, and he's surrounded by a subpar team (to Barca's standards anyway). I dont think Mbappe or Haaland, let alone Kane or Felix are better than him, but again, lets just agree to disagree.

I do have an idea about how he'd fare in the PL, because a player doesnt simply forget how to play football when moving to a different league. He would be playing under Guardiola so id be more inclined to bet that hed break records at City more than him not being good.

I really wish he would make that move.
 

tomaldinho1

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Lets just agree to disagree on Messi not being the best at his position. I see him weekly and he's comfortably the most differential player on the pitch every single time and MOTM more often than not, and he's surrounded by a subpar team (to Barca's standards anyway). I dont think Mbappe or Haaland, let alone Kane or Felix are better than him, but again, lets just agree to disagree.

I do have an idea about how he'd fare in the PL, because a player doesnt simply forget how to play football when moving to a different league. He would be playing under Guardiola so id be more inclined to bet that hed break records at City more than him not being good.

I really wish he would make that move.
I appreciate you could be the foremost scholar on Messi and watch him every game like a hawk but you know just as little as any of us, or anyone in football about how he'd do in the PL because it's hypothetical and no one knows. I hope we see it as well.