The Argentinian failed to make an impact as Barcelona crashed out of the Champions League at the hands of Atletico Madrid
No Messi, no party. Barcelona tumbled out of Europe in scenes that were mirrored by another poor showing from Lionel Messi.
For all Neymar’s ball skills and Luis Suarez’s bullishness, it is usually Messi who dictates whether or not Barca perform, and his poor showing at the Vicente Calderon represented a blank for a Barcelona side.
The 28-year-old’s fifth club match without a goal – still remaining stuck on 499 career strikes – represented his worst run for the Catalan side in six years, with his last goal coming a month ago in the previous Champions League round against Arsenal.
Is it time to move on? A move to reunite with former coach Pep Guardiola at a revived Manchester City could reinvigorate Messi’s career.
One win in five matches – their own worst run in 24 months – and losing three of their last four has seen Barcelona exit Europe and allow the Madrid sides back into a La Liga title race they appeared to be coasting home in.