This week, the Independent have been counting down the 100 best players in the 21st century and after careful consideration and a detailed voting system, Lionel Messi has been ranked as the greatest player of modern times. As if that was ever in question at all.
The publication’s team consisted out of 10 writers that were tasked with objectively choosing the best among the best with a couple of broad factors taken into consideration: a player’s ability and the application of said ability, the consistency of the application, the level they reached over the course of their career and finally, their influence on the competition and the level of their achievement.
And Lionel Messi, who is also widely considered as one of the best – if not the very best – player in the history of the sport, has been voted as the greatest player of the 21st century. This, to Barcelona fans, doesn’t exactly come as a big surprise.
The six-time Ballon d’Or winner is a record-breaker in more ways than one and has been on the very top of the mountain for over a decade now. Even now, in his early 30s, Messi is arguably above everyone else and certainly Barcelona’s single most important piece of the squad.
Interestingly enough, alongside Messi, there are three other former Barcelona players in the top five with Xavi Hernández in third, Ronaldinho in fourth and Andrés Iniesta in fifth. Needless to say, this is a huge compliment to the club as a whole.
Of course, Cristiano Ronaldo is in second place, just behind the little alien from Rosario.
Official: Barcelona confirm Pedri muscular injury
All victories come with a cost and Barcelona’s great triumph over Sevilla is no exception. Sadly, the Catalans’ young prodigy, Pedri, had to leave the pitch in the second half of the clash and now, the club has officially confirmed that the 18-year-old had sustained a muscular injury.
As of right now, however, we still don’t know how serious it is and we’ll have to wait for further information, which is most likely to arrive tomorrow. Unfortunately, the early speculations are not good as it seems Pedri could indeed be out of commission for a couple of weeks at least.
Needless to say, that’s a huge hit for Barcelona since the schedule is unrelenting. Soon, it will be time to face Sevilla again in the Copa del Rey and also Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League. Doing so without Pedri could indeed be troublesome.
But we also have to wonder how did it come to this injury. The 18-year-old is a key member of the squad so it’s understandable Ronald Koeman would want him to play all the time.
However, that might be the very crux of the problem too. With so little rest in-between the games, it was just a matter of time before Pedri’s body could take no more.
Still, not all is lost and he should be back in time to help Barcelona finish the season strong. And besides, now the youngster can finally get some well-deserved rest.
Hopefully the team can manage without him for a short period of time.