Messi might have scored 73 goals this season but that does not change the fact that half of those goals were mere replicas of each other while the other half were on penalties (figuratively speaking).
Messi broke all sorts of goal scoring records this season including most goals scored by any player in a single season and most number of goals scored in a single season in La Liga.
But if you look at the stats a bit more carefully you would also come to realize that Messi (apart from the fact that he plays for Barcelona where each player can be given the best player in the world award) is nowhere near as dynamic as Maradonna, Pele, Puskas, Ronaldo (old one), Zidane and Figo just to name a few.
Here are my top 3 reasons why Messi is a one dimensional player
- All his goals (or most of them) are the same. He starts from the left side of the field then makes a diagonal run through the middle of the pitch. Depending on where the defenders defend, he either goes to the right or the left. The reason why no one can stop him currently is because he is very fast. Like, really fast. Blistering acceleration (not pace) and low center of gravity allows him to do the same thing over and over again to great effect. Only the top defenders can get a hang of him in this regard and this season it was very obvious that defenders are starting to understand his gameplay.Still 99 percent defenders he comes up against are way too slow and do not have the tackling technique to make any sort of difficulty for him. This season, all the matches where Messi has failed Barcelona are the matches where defenders finally were able to cut him off his diagonal runs. Without those, he is not half a player that he currently is. This makes him very one dimensional. Elite defensive teams (Real Madrid is not one of them) all have figured this out and hence we saw Messi completely neutralized in both legs of the Champions League. Because he could not make his usual runs, he got frustrated and hence when the opportunities did come to him, he missed all of them.
- He only knows one system of playing. For Argentina his level is very very disappointing because Argentina do not have the players and neither the system to exploit his strengths. This where Ronaldo is such a utility player. He can play effectively in any system and in any team in any position with any bunch of players and still perform at the same level (which won’t be necessarily lower than of Messi’s). Transfer market is full of rumors about players going to different clubs but there is never any talk about Messi going to another club. That is also because he is a one dimensional player. No club is prepared to pay big for him because they know any team who buys Messi is going to have to change the whole system of the current setup of the team and for that they are going to have to sign different players who can cover up the areas which would allow Messi to shine. That is a huge constraint that Messi brings with him and all his talents, he can only succeed in places which submit to his style of play which is Messi all the way meaning Messi takes free kicks, penalties, any open goals and of course Messi plays wherever he wants to whenever he wants to.
- Messi’s shooting is quite average. He cannot hurt teams from long range. He can only score goals from inside the penalty box. Players like Rooney, Ronaldo, Zlatan can hurt teams from anywhere. Long range or short range they are equally effective, or almost equally. Messi on the other hand only knows how to do one thing and that is to make runs from the left towards the right diagonally and beat defenders with pace and change in direction, once he gets into the box he slots the ball in whichever direction he wants to because a goalkeeper is not expected to save a shot from inside the penalty area.
These were the major reasons why I think that clubs are better off paying big for Ronaldo, Rooney or Benzema or even Iniesta rather than Messi. What do you guys think? I am all ears now. HALA MADRID!!!