Barcelona news: Lionel Messi at the centre of Nou Camp transfer plans – Guillem Balague | Football | Sport

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That’s according to Spanish football expert Guillem Balague, who says Philippe Coutinho will have to adapt his game now he’s moved to the Nou Camp.

Messi has forged a reputation as one of the world’s best ever players over the past decade.


And during that time his role has changed from being a winger to a false nine to a deep-lying No 10.

Messi has played alongside plenty of top talents over the years and Barca’s prestige means he will continue to do so.

Balague says any players that Barcelona now look to bring in must be able to change their game to play with the Argentine.

“He has had to do a lot,” said Balague when asked in a Sky Sports web chat what’s changed about Messi this season. 

“What Ernesto Valverde is trying to do is to get players around Messi with fixed positions, so they can work for Messi. 

“The thing that is happening more and more is that there is no other focal point in the team – that is both good and bad – but it’s all about Messi now, not so much about Xavi or Iniesta or Neymar. 

“It’s all about Messi, everything has to go through him. That he enjoys, and that of course means the team has to adapt to him, including Coutinho.

“New maturity, new contract, total leadership on and off the pitch, those things definitely help to settle, as well as the freedom to do whatever he wants. 

“It’s a World Cup year, and there are a lot of things to play for this season, he is a happy man.”



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