What position does messi play ? Lionel Messi has reached the highest echelons of world football, having won every major tournament he has competed in with club and country.
La Pulga has played in different attacking positions since his entry into professional football, and his role has evolved over the years. In his early years, Messi was mainly deployed as a central attacking midfielder in La Masia and Barcelona’s junior teams.
However, when he transitioned to the first team, he typically played on the right flank.
This was with Samuel Eto’o as the central striker and Ronaldinho sitting on the left flank in Barcelona’s 4-3-3 formation. The Argentine’s playing style was predominantly focused on dribbling down the flank and finding his attacking partners with crosses and through-balls.
As he gained more experience and confidence, however, Lionel Messi started to drift into central areas and take more shots on goal. He re-emerged as a central attacker after Pep Guardiola took the reins at Camp Nou in 2008.
Instead of playing on the wings, Guardiola deployed the Argentine as a False 9 in a strikerless 4-3-3 formation. This saw Lionel Messi drop deep and act as a playmaker for the wide forwards while also serving as the team’s central striker in the final attacking phase.
It allowed the Argentine an unparalleled level of dynamism and creativity that saw him flourish wildly, as he scored goals at a rate never seen before or since. It is also little surprise that Messi picked up four Ballon d’Or awards from 2009 to 2012.
In 2014, the introduction of Luis Suarez to the team marked a major shift in Messi’s playing position and role. Though the team still lined up in a 4-3-3 formation, they became much more dynamic and fluid.
The system allowed for constant interplay between Neymar, Messi, and Luis Suarez. With the goal-scoring load much more spread out, the Argentine maestro was able to unleash his creativity. His ability to provide assists with ease resulted in an astonishing 364 goals between the trio in their three seasons together.
An older Lionel Messi and his role with PSG after 20 years at Barcelona
Barcelona went through constant changes in personnel following the Messi-Suarez-Neymar era, and the forward’s role and position became ever-changing.
Prior to his exit from Camp Nou, he featured as a striker, operated as a playmaker, and also took on his False 9 role, having garnered the versatility to adapt his play to the needs of the team.
Now, with PSG, Lionel Messi’s positioning on the pitch has noticeably shifted towards the central areas. According to messivsronaldo.app, he has also had a decrease in shots per 90 minutes taken inside the box over the last four seasons.
On the other hand, his shots per 90 minutes taken from outside the box have seen a marked increase. It is, therefore, little surprise that a number of his efforts for PSG have come from outside the box.
This indicates that while Lionel Messi has spent more time in the center of the pitch, he hasn’t entered the box often. At PSG, he could be returning to his original style of play during his early years, when he focused on his creative playmaking abilities.
A proper attacker
The world of football can be a labyrinth of complexities, particularly when we delve into the elaborate world of attacking positions. An attacking player’s role isn’t confined by well-defined boundaries; it’s a dynamic responsibility that requires versatility, agility, and a dash of ingenuity – this is where Messi shines.
His genius lies not only in his ability to execute the role of a traditional forward but also to redefine it. That’s why there aren’t that many “Messiesque” players in the world – it’s really hard to copy someone as unique as the Argentina captain.
Barcelona and Pep Guardiola
During his tenure at Barcelona, under the guidance of Pep Guardiola, Messi’s career hit a somewhat astronomical trajectory. Guardiola, understanding the amount of creativity he had in Messi, decided to redefine his position on the pitch. Messi, initially known for his mesmerizing runs from the wings, was transitioned into a ‘False 9’ role.
Something we’ve already talked about. He became a phantom forward, drawing defenders and creating space for his teammates to exploit, all the while maintaining his goal-scoring ability. As you probably already know, the results were nothing short of revolutionary.
A change of pace
Like any great football player, Messi has never shied away from change. As time took its inevitable toll, his playing style adapted to the subtle shifts in his physical prowess. No longer the inexhaustible dribbler that constantly dashed down the pitch, Messi matured into a, you could even say, universal attacking midfielder, controlling the game through insightful passes and strategic maneuvering. His uncanny understanding of the game showcases a player who has embraced the inevitability of age, using experience as an ally rather than viewing it as a limitation.
Examples of players occupying similar parts of the pitch
There are other notable names that have had similar roles – from Johan Cruyff to Francesco Totti, Mohamed Salah, and to some extent, even Messi’s long-time rival, Cristiano Ronaldo. However, none have displayed the same consistency that Messi has showcased throughout his career. In the realm of football, Messi stands in a league of his own.
Coming to America
In a surprising turn of events, Messi recently joined Inter Miami in Major League Soccer, a decision that has sent waves of anticipation throughout the American football scene. The MLS, despite being often seen as a sunset league for European veterans, is poised to experience a huge shift with Messi’s arrival.
But what impact can Messi have on the MLS? Even at 35, Messi’s skillset is quite rich: his precision passing, creative vision, and seemingly supernatural goal-scoring abilities make him a formidable presence on the pitch.
He may not possess the same amount of stamina as in his early days, but Messi has more than just skill in his arsenal; he has the wisdom of a seasoned veteran, a trait that is bound to impact the league significantly. His presence isn’t just about adding star power to the MLS – it’s about inspiring a new generation of American players and fans.
The States over Saudi Arabia
In the early spring days of 2023, we’ve seen an interesting trend in the world of football as aging superstars reach the sunset of their careers. Messi has chosen to cross the Atlantic and contribute to the evolution of MLS in the United States. Others, though, have been lured by the growing prestige of the Saudi Arabian Pro League.
The MLS, often seen as a sanctuary for retiring European players, is on the brink of a new era, largely thanks to Messi’s move. On the other hand, the Saudi Arabian league, flush with financial power and ambitious expansion plans, has also managed to attract an impressive roster of star players.
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