In the Ciudad Deportiva del Barcelona the same phrase is repeated over and over again: “Leo is happy.” They assure him in the first team dressing room, in the coaching staff, in the sports management and even the youth soccer coaches, who come across 10 in Sant Joan Despí and have known his character since he was a pipiolo. “In the last few months, Leo looks happy. That is important because it impacts the club. He is the captain and influences the entire team. We are doing very well and in large part it is because of him ”, Gerard Piqué stressed in an interview with Jorge Valdano in Movistar. Against Getafe it was clear.
At the start of the season, Messi’s anguish, forced by then-president Josep Maria Bartomeu to stay at the Camp Nou, exacerbated the depression of a weak club in the offices, fragile on the pitch. Barça hesitated in the League while Messi seemed stripped of his scoring nose. In the first 14 games (all in 2020), the Barça captain scored seven goals. In the next 15 (2021), he signed 18. He already has 25 in the League, four more than his follower Benzema, and is on his way to his eighth top scorer, the fifth in a row, an unprecedented mark.
Messi, for now, equals the record of Di Stéfano and Hugo Sánchez, who established themselves as scorers for four consecutive seasons. In addition, he added his 11th assist and, when he could score the hat-trick, he gave the penalty to Griezmann to close the win. He also gave away another goal, in this case with a corner kick. “Leo always talks to me so that I can head to that area. I have the height [1,88m] to help the team, but he couldn’t score, “said Araujo after sending the Argentine’s center to the net.
Less happy was Mingueza, who took a good fight from Koeman when he came up after 3-2 in an action in which the screams of the Dutch coach made him stop and turn back. “A little exaggerated my position with him,” acknowledged Koeman; “But he must learn that to be a player at Barça you have to always be in every game. Sometimes it’s complicated for Óscar, for Pedri, who hasn’t played his best game today either. Young people have to learn ”. And, for all of them, he added: “The whole game has to be concentrated. We have to learn because if we lower the level and the rhythm of the ball we can have problems with anyone ”.
Koeman ended up changing Mingueza for Umtiti, although he assured that the change was not due to the fight. When the youth squad went to the bench, yes, it was difficult for Koeman to shake his hand, due to the anger of the Dutch coach.