Barcelona captain Lionel Messi insists that the team should not be relying solely on him to drive them towards success after drawing with Athletic Bilbao.
The Spanish champions followed up their dismal defeat against Leganes in midweek with another disappointing result in La Liga on Saturday after failing to beat Bilbao at the Camp Nou.
Barca have now stretched their winless run domestically to three games and are seemingly lacking a clinical edge in front of goal despite the plethora of world-class talent at manager Ernesto Valverde’s disposal.
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Oscar De Marcos fired Bilabo into the lead just before half-time and the scoreline remained 1-0 until late in the game, despite Messi hitting the post via a well-struck free-kick.
Barcelona’s saviour, in the end, was an unlikely source, Munir El Haddadi coming off the bench to snatch a point for the hosts after directing home a low Messi cross across the face of goal.
The Blaugrana skipper was not included in the starting line-up for the game, however, Valverde’s men only managed to spark into life once he was introduced in the second period, which has raised further questions about the team being too reliant on the Argentine superstar.
According to the Express, Messi revealed his anger over Barca’s recent form, as he told reporters: “We have the squad and the players to be a great team, to be a strong team and not depend on anyone.
“This is Barca. We have enough players, we don’t need to depend on one.
“These results have been a shame, but we have to stay calm because it’s a long season.
“There’s no anxiety. The season’s long and it’s early days. We’re angry about recent results because they weren’t what we expected.
Next up for the Catalan giants is a huge Champions League fixture against Tottenham at Wembley on Wednesday, where they will need to be at their best to come away with an important three points in Group B.
Messi may be one of the greatest players to ever grace the game, but for this current crop at Barcelona to win major trophies this season, they are going to have to become more than a one-man band.