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CLASSY Lionel Messi, Barcelona icon going to BRILLIANT lengths to see teammate flourish

Unfortunately for us all, Barcelona and Argentina legend Lionel Messi isn’t going to escape edging closer to the latter stages of his career.

He’ll turn 31 this summer, but that’s not to suggest that he’s showing any sign of decline as he’s helped himself to 45 goals and 18 assists in 53 appearances in all competitions so far this season.

SEE MORE: Major concern for Barcelona: Meetings touted over possible €60m exit for star man

Add on top of that yet another La Liga title and a Copa del Rey success, he’s enjoying a brilliant year and he’ll hope he can take that with him into the World Cup this summer in Russia.

However, with Andres Iniesta set to leave at the end of the season, the emphasis will be placed more and more on Messi’s shoulders to be the outright leader in the Barcelona dressing room and help the younger players flourish.

According to El Pais, he’s doing just that when it comes to Ousmane Dembele, in an indication of the absolute class that he possesses.

It’s claimed that he is working with assistant coach Jon Aspiazu on studying the movements of the French starlet, and assessing ways to make the most of his pace and where he should be off the ball and how best to link up with the 20-year-old.

Ultimately, that shows two things. Firstly, Messi is a student of the game and his meticulous preparation is not just aimed at ensuring he shines.

Further, he evidently sees Dembele as a major part of Barcelona’s future despite his struggles this season in his first year at the Nou Camp and so this is undoubtedly going to stand him in good stead moving forward.

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