They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Football fans can argue that so are heat-maps. Heat-maps are used to identify the frequency of events spread in a given particular area, are a common way to find out a position and operating zone of a player.
Lionel Messi started on the right wing as Barcelona took on Osasuna today, with Antoine Griezmann playing off of Martin Braithwaite, who was the central striker.
Messi put up an absolute show, scoring one goal, giving four key passes, and creating two big chances. He was unlucky to walk out of the game with no more than a goal in terms of a direct contribution. However, his heat-map from the game definitely stood out.
Lionel Messi’s heatmap vs Osasuna
According to Sofascore, Messi’s heat-map for the night is in the shape of a goat, which is worthy of his performance, no less in the gameweek where he paid tribute to the late Diego Maradona. The Argentine is often referred to as the G.O.A.T (Greatest of all Time) footballer, and it looks like the footballing gods approve of his status as one.
Antoine Griezmann and Frenkie de Jong were among the other players who stood out, as Barcelona rampaged over Osasuna to register a 4-0 win, leapfrogging seven places to 7th in the table.
Lautaro Martínez talks about the summer rumours of playing alongside Messi
It has been quite a while since we’ve last heard about any concrete rumours of Lautaro Martínez potentially joining Barcelona. The Argentine striker was previously a hot target for the Catalans but following a long hassling period with Inter, and some untimely financial issues, the Azulgranas had to abandon their quest.
Now, other players seem to take priority over the young star as Ronald Koeman looks to strengthen the squad even further. However, back in Italy where Martínez is currently playing, the media seem to still have some interest in that particular story.
Recently, the Argentine was asked about the summer rumours of him wanting to play alongside his compatriot, Lionel Messi. The quotes were given to Gazzetta dello Sport but were relayed by Calciomercato.
“It [playing with Messi] was a dream for me too, of course, because playing with him is fantastic. He is the best player in the world. I am lucky enough to play in the national team with him. We, young people, look up to him,” said Lautaro.
These statements don’t come as a particularly big surprise to many. As he mentions himself, young players look up to Leo and who wouldn’t want to share the pitch with him?
Seeing Martínez at the Camp Nou, however, would be extremely difficult given the club’s current circumstances and Inter’s unwillingness to lower their asking price. He is a talent, though, and that much has to be said.
Maybe the transfer can happen further down the line but at the moment, playing with Messi, apart from the national team, could remain a distant dream for the young Argentine star.