When Messi’s magic appears, FC Barcelona is still dominant

Sometimes the equation is quite simple. It doesn’t really matter what the variables are, if the constant element is there, and it’s working, everything else simply falls into place. In Barcelona, the only constant should be Lionel Messi. When the Argentine is inspired and decides to show up, the team can play like the angels. When he is moping around the field, disconnected, and not giving his all in every play, his team can suffer tremendously, and fail to reach the appropriate competitive level. It really is that simple. SEE ALSO: Is 2015 Neymar’s year? Against Atletico Madrid, Barça fans got to enjoy perhaps the best game Messi has played against a big team since the quarterfinal bout with PSG two years ago. That day, in the first leg of the series, Messi got injured and was subbed out at half time. He came back for 20 minutes in the return match, enough to tie the game and go through to the semifinals, but since then, the Four-time Ballon d’Or winner has been nothing but a ghostly image of himself. The last week at Camp Nou saw the most turmoil within the club in recent history. President Josep Maria Bartomeu fired Football Director Andoni Zubizarreta, Carles Puyol left the club after six months as Zubizarreta’s right hand man, and finally the President called for anticipated elections to be held next June.   Amidst the issues off the field, the recent defeat against Real Sociedad also made Luis Enrique inch closer to the cliff, as the team had lost a golden opportunity to creep up to the top of the table and surpass Real Madrid while at it. News that Messi had actively been lobbying for Luis Enrique to be sacked also didn’t help the situation, and the fact that the Argentine missed the post-Anoeta debacle training, allegedly because of a stomach bug, further proved that things between the coach and his main star were far from a fairy tale. But one great match, 90 minutes of successful football against an important enough opponent, can change everything, and that’s exactly what happened against Diego Siemone’s Atletico. SEE ALSO: Five soccer players to keep an eye on in 2015 Barcelona beat the team that took La Liga title last year from Camp Nou in the last game of the season, and did so in style. Luis Enrique’s men put on a show like they hadn’t done in a long time, and it was all based in Lionel Messi’s stellar performance. The Argentine broke through all the noise around him and focused solely on the game. He recorded an assist and a goal, but more importantly, he showed the kind of leadership every good Blaugrana fan expects to see from him. There’s no saying if this version of Messi is finally here to stay, but if it is, Spanish and European rivals should be quite weary of Barcelona. The best Messi, teamed up with an ever-growing Neymar and finally-adjusted Luis Suarez make up a deadly combination ready to battle anyone in the continent.The post When Messi’s magic appears, FC Barcelona is still dominant appeared first on Voxxi.

Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona plays the ball next to Diego Godin (L), Tiago Mendes (C) and Jose Maria Gimenez (R) of Club Atletico de Madrid during the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and Club Atletico de Madrid at Camp Nou on January 11, 2015 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Sometimes the equation is quite simple. It doesn’t really matter what the variables are, if the constant element is there, and it’s working, everything else simply falls into place. In Barcelona, the only constant should be Lionel Messi. When the Argentine is inspired and decides to show up, the team can play like the angels.

When he is moping around the field, disconnected, and not giving his all in every play, his team can suffer tremendously, and fail to reach the appropriate competitive level.

It really is that simple.

SEE ALSO: Is 2015 Neymar’s year?

Against Atletico Madrid, Barça fans got to enjoy perhaps the best game Messi has played against a big team since the quarterfinal bout with PSG two years ago. That day, in the first leg of the series, Messi got injured and was subbed out at half time.

He came back for 20 minutes in the return match, enough to tie the game and go through to the semifinals, but since then, the Four-time Ballon d’Or winner has been nothing but a ghostly image of himself.

The last week at Camp Nou saw the most turmoil within the club in recent history. President Josep Maria Bartomeu fired Football Director Andoni Zubizarreta, Carles Puyol left the club after six months as Zubizarreta’s right hand man, and finally the President called for anticipated elections to be held next June.

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Amidst the issues off the field, the recent defeat against Real Sociedad also made Luis Enrique inch closer to the cliff, as the team had lost a golden opportunity to creep up to the top of the table and surpass Real Madrid while at it.

News that Messi had actively been lobbying for Luis Enrique to be sacked also didn’t help the situation, and the fact that the Argentine missed the post-Anoeta debacle training, allegedly because of a stomach bug, further proved that things between the coach and his main star were far from a fairy tale.

But one great match, 90 minutes of successful football against an important enough opponent, can change everything, and that’s exactly what happened against Diego Siemone’s Atletico.

SEE ALSO: Five soccer players to keep an eye on in 2015

Barcelona beat the team that took La Liga title last year from Camp Nou in the last game of the season, and did so in style. Luis Enrique’s men put on a show like they hadn’t done in a long time, and it was all based in Lionel Messi’s stellar performance.

The Argentine broke through all the noise around him and focused solely on the game. He recorded an assist and a goal, but more importantly, he showed the kind of leadership every good Blaugrana fan expects to see from him.

There’s no saying if this version of Messi is finally here to stay, but if it is, Spanish and European rivals should be quite weary of Barcelona. The best Messi, teamed up with an ever-growing Neymar and finally-adjusted Luis Suarez make up a deadly combination ready to battle anyone in the continent.

The post When Messi’s magic appears, FC Barcelona is still dominant appeared first on Voxxi.