Messi celebrates 100 days of his farewell and 18 years of his debut at Barcelona


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Messi celebrates 100 days of his farewell and 18 years of his debut at Barcelona

BARCELONA – Lionel Messi said goodbye to Barcelona on August 8 crying, and after 100 days his memory at the Camp Nou remains, removed from the stage by the renewed hope that personalizes the arrival on the bench of Xavi Hernández and the surprising signing of Dani Alves … But his shadow continues to be elongated around the Camp Nou.

So much so that in these more than three months since his departure there are those who maintain a hope, as utopian as it is inconsistent, of a resounding return of Leo to the Barça club.

Repeating that his adaptation to Paris Saint-Germain has not been the idyllic that was expected and according to the example of Alves, who returned after five years of fruitless search for a successor, thinking that Messi could follow the example of his former teammate has not disappeared of the Barcelona imaginary, even though that is a possibility closer to fantasy than to reality.

All this happens during the confirmation so announced in recent times and that is a palpable reality: Without Messi the Barça team has lost an alarming scoring capacity (15 goals less than last year) and their longing is evident.

After playing the first 16 official matches, Barça, which has barely won five of them and lost another five to be off the hook in LaLiga eleven points behind the leadership and played a good part of its options in the Champions League in the match against Benfica, has scored 21 goals, a dramatic comparison with last season at this point, when he had scored 36 goals, lost only two games and although he was not in better condition in the local championship, he had already closed his pass to the round of 16 of the highest competition continental.

That was the Barça, still, of Messi, who added seven goals and had distributed five assists without suspecting that months later he would say goodbye to the club, forced, said Joan Laporta, by the circumstances and forced to look for a new destination, the PSG that opened the doors … And where its first months have not exactly been a balm. Much less the success that was suspected.

Injured upon arrival in Paris, Leo made his debut until August 29, playing the final part of the match in Reims. Until today their numbers and significance have nothing to do with the Barça crack. He has taken part in 7 of the first 17 official PSG games, adding 596 minutes out of 1,530 possible and scoring three goals (two of them, yes, vital against Leipzig in the Champions League).

Barça misses Messi one would say as much as Messi misses Barça, where his figure was as indisputable and untouchable as it has ceased to be in France, where PSG itself laments his absences, his little commitment is hinted at and It has been ventured that he will not fulfill his contract.

All this continues on the plane hours before Argentina receives Brazil, it is understood that with Leo on the grass, on the way to the Qatar World Cup and when precisely 18 years have passed since that distant November 16, 2003, when a then unknown Messi made his debut with the Barça first team in a friendly against Porto de Mourinho.

Eleven months would still have to be waited until his debut in an official match and from there his figure grew, first under the company of Ronaldinho, and later with the role of fireproof leader to become the best footballer who ever wore the Barça shirt.


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