Losing a superstar like Lionel Messi would spell disaster for most clubs in pursuit of a title. Fortunately, Barcelona isn’t included in that category.
While Messi is undeniably the most talented footballer in the world, he’s also part of a Barca team that can win without its best player on the pitch. That might not be the case over a long stretch of matches, but that, too, looks like it won’t be an issue for Barca.
According to The Guardian, the hamstring injury Messi suffered against Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday should only keep Barca’s star forward off the pitch for seven to 10 days:
The club's medical services have revealed that Leo Messi's hamstring injury will definitely rule him out of this weekend's game against Mallorca, whilst his availability after that will depend on how the injury progresses.
Hamstring injuries always have the potential for extended absences from the pitch, especially for a footballer whose speed and quickness are among the best in the sport. Messi has confirmed (via Facebook) that the injury isn’t as serious as it was first believed to be.
“I will return soon, thankfully it was not so serious.”
While Messi’s exact return has yet to be determined, early indications are hopeful for a quick recovery. Still, Barca will be without its superstar against Real Mallorca this weekend, and the impact can’t be overstated.
With his 57 goals and 13 assists in La Liga and Champions League play, Barca will need to adjust accordingly to his absence, regardless of how short it may be.
Messi’s injury won’t be as damaging to his club as some may have previously feared, though. In fact, it may ultimately help Barca improve as a team.
Defender Daniel Alves chimed in with his take on the impact of Messi’s injury, as quoted by Iain Rogers of The Independent.
“The fact that we don't have him is an incentive to prove to everyone that we have enough quality to compete without him and show that we can do it just as well as when he's here.”
Barcelona is incredibly talented from top to bottom, and without its current depth and skill level, it wouldn’t be such an impressive squad, even with Messi’s dominant play.
Injuries are a part of the sport, but team play is just as important as any one individual. Barcelona has the talent to keep pace with any club in the league while Messi recovers. He hasn’t missed time since 2009 (h/t The Independent), and taking advantage of this opportunity to shine without him will be an important step for Barca’s continued improvement.
Getting the world’s best footballer healthy for a Champions League push is extremely important at this point in the season. With the confidence and talent to weather the storm in his absence, Barca won’t be forced to pressure his return, and it will make it a better team when all is said and done.