Obviously the situation with Lionel Messi isn’t exactly the same as when Cristiano Ronaldo left Real Madrid, but there are a lot of similarities.
Ronaldo was Madrid’s talisman and there was a lot of concern about who would come in to replace him, but it was clear that it was going to be a team effort.
Fast forward a couple of years and Real are in a much better position, the team is balanced and they aren’t hugely reliant on one player so it worked out well.
Marca have reported on some comments from Luka Modric in relation to Lionel Messi’s situation at Barcelona, and he’s offered some hope to the Barca fans by stating that life always goes on:
“It would be a huge loss, like when Cristiano left. If it happens it will be a huge loss for the prestige of the league. But we need to go forward. Other players will become stars.”
“When Cristiano left, the same thing happened; the life of Real Madrid went on without him and it will be the same for Barcelona and LaLiga without Messi.”
It’s understandable that Barca don’t want him to go especially when things are completely built around him, but it might actually be what the club needs going forward.
Barca’s playing style completely lost it’s identity last season when they had one tactic – give it to Messi – so it means the rest of the team looked scared to try and make things happen and it was clearly hampering some players.
If Messi leaves then there will be chances for players like Griezmann, Ansu Fati and even Coutinho to step up and make a bigger contribution.
If you look at the best teams in history it’s always been based on a team effort rather than one outstanding player, so this might even be a good thing in the long run.
Messi means more to Barcelona that Cristiano did to Real Madrid because he came through the academy and he’s spent so many years at the club, so it will be harder to move on.