Barcelona star Lionel Messi is known for not getting involved in the initial minutes of any game that he plays. Although there have been numerous theories surrounding the same, there were no concrete points to settle the debate. However, former Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde has shed light on Lionel Messi's habit in the early stages of games.
While speaking to Financial Times, former Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde spoke on how the club has been preparing for the future. During this talk, he went on to elaborate on how every player of the squad interprets the play. He claimed that players must not think, but must play when on the pitch. He, however, cited Lionel Messi as an exception.
Ernesto Valverde revealed that Barcelona captain Lionel Messi often tries to interpret the opposition team in the initial minutes of the game. Rather than getting involved with the ball, Messi observes the opposition defenders by moving around them. The six-time Ballon d'Or winner observes every minute detail, while also spotting the weakness of the opposition, said the former Barcelona manager.
Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu also spoke on how players used to reject the club because of the intense competition within the squad. The likes of Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta and Xavi rose through the academy ranks, making it difficult for others to establish themselves due to their consistent performances. Josep Bartomeu admitted that he couldn't sign every player he wanted, claiming that many declined the club at the last moment fearing a lack of game time.
Lionel Messi stats for Barcelona make for impressive reading this season. The Barcelona captain has netted 24 goals for the defending LaLiga champions. Another 16 assists are included in Lionel Messi stats this season across all competitions. His side are currently leading in LaLiga with a two-point advantage over second-placed Real Madrid.