If Messi does not score, Barcelona tends to remain stone cold (Wikipedia)

(WFI) Barcelona’s exclusive dependence on Lionel Messi is something that can not be hidden, but it becomes more apparent when the “Blaugrana” team is out of the biggest European competition.

In each elimination of Barcelona in the Champions League, there is a common denominator since Leo Messi played his first match with the club’s first team in 2004.

Messi has never scored a goal on an opponent that puts his team out of Europe, neither in the first leg nor in the return game of an elimination tie. The numbers simply show that when the Argentine does not score, Barça usually falls short among the elite in European football.

With Messi in the squad, Barça has won the Champions League four times, but has been eliminated in nine seasons. In 2007, Barcelona lost against Liverpool; in 2008, Manchester United was its butcher; in 2010, Messi did not score against Inter; 2012, Chelsea; in 2013, Bayern proved too much for the Argentine; in 2014 Leo was shut-off against Atletico, in 2016, Atletico again; during 2017, Juventus did not allow a Messi goal; and this season, the Argentine did not manage to score against Roma.

The numbers are more worrisome for Barcelona fans considering that in four of the last five seasons, the Catalans have not made it past the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

The problem however may not solely be Messi’s lack of scoring. The troubles for Barça is that the club has become in the last few years a spending-machine, perhaps the one in the history of football that has signed more players who end up not justifying their high price tag and not making a difference for the team. Footballers like Arda Turan (40 million Euros), Andre Gomes (40 million), Paco Alcacer (30 million), Semedo (30 million) and before them, Alexis Sanchez (38 million), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (75 million) or even the Ukrainian defender Dmytro Chygrynskiy (25 million) are just a few examples.

The list is longer and the pain bigger for the Barcelona supporters who are reluctantly accepting year after year that despite having at the Camp Nou arguably the best player in the history of the game, the main prize at the club level in the world keeps eluding them.

Homepage photo: Flickr

By INSIDER Javier Monne

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