Luis Suarez has admitted he’s worried about former Barcelona team-mate Lionel Messi and his current situation at the Camp Nou. The striker spoke after seeing his Atletico Madrid side hand Barca their third La Liga defeat of the season on Saturday.
Ronald Koeman’s side have endured a poor start to the campaign and have taken just 11 points from their first 8 games, while Messi has been far from his best and has only managed one goal from open play so far in 2020-2.1
Suarez spoke to Punto Penal on Channel 10 about his former club and explained he finds it difficult to watch his friend Messi struggling at the Camp Nou, as reported by Mundo Deportivo.
I think I’ve already talked too much about Barca, I prefer to leave it aside now, enjoy this moment at Atlético. But as a friend, as a partner of Leo, the situation hurts me. I am concerned about him as a human being, but I also know that he is capable of moving forward and turning his situation around.
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Concern Over Messi Form
Messi had few chances to score against Atletico on Saturday. His best chance came from inside the penalty area when he shot straight at goalkeeper Jan Oblak. The Argentine did set up a great chance for Clement Lenglet in the second half, but the center-back could only head straight at Oblak.
It was a poor performance from Messi and Barcelona, who were deservedly beaten by Atletico, and drew concern from supporters and journalists about the captain’s current form.
It feels like Barcelona are in the post-Messi slump we all knew was coming, except he's still there
— Rik Sharma (@riksharma_) November 21, 2020
Leo being tentative and weird with his shooting is a very disconcerting thing of this season.
— Diana Kristinne (@DianaKristinne) November 21, 2020
Dembélé, Dest and De Jong were good. Lenglet was alright. everyone else was varying degrees of bad. Messi, who was clearly exhausted, was as bad as I've seen him. https://t.co/LqiW81OBTw
— Muhammad Butt (@muhammadbutt) November 21, 2020
No money, a forced election a week before close of the winter window, three key players lost for months, a mess of a Messi, a manager in over his head and a team on the brink of complete psychological collapse. Okay.
— kevinwilliams (@kevvwill) November 22, 2020
Barca were 1st but hired two coaches to make Barca play more like Barca and to make Messi happier and here we are with Barca 10th, playing less and less like Barca and Messi much, much unhappier.
— Tom Allnutt (@TomAllnuttAFP) November 21, 2020
Messi also appears to have lost his touch when it comes to free-kicks.
— OptaJose (@OptaJose) November 21, 2020
The captain has certainly had a grueling schedule since the season started back in September. The only rest he’s been given was when Koeman started him on the bench against Real Betis. However, the Dutch coach ended up sending his captain on at half-time with his team struggling and watched as Messi inspired his side to a 5-2 win.
Is Messi Unhappy at Barcelona?
Yet the captain certainly does not appear too happy with life at the club currently, perhaps unsurprisingly after he informed Barca over the summer he wanted to leave but could not find a way out.
Messi’s frustrations boiled over again in midweek after returning from international duty. Messi was quizzed by reporters about recent criticism after a long flight back to Barcelona and produced a telling response.
🗣 Lionel Messi has landed back in Barcelona and says he's "tired of always being the problem with everything at the club" 👀pic.twitter.com/iAmJ3a5rZ6
— beIN SPORTS USA (@beINSPORTSUSA) November 18, 2020
Barcelona will need their captain to get back to his best if they are to improve their form and start to move up the league table. The Catalan giants are already 9 points adrift of Atletico Madrid and can’t afford to drop many more points.
Next up for Barca is a trip to Ukraine to face Dynamo Kiev in the Champions League on Tuesday. Koeman’s men have won all three group games so far and another win would propel them into the knockout stages and could help kickstart their season.