Barcelona’s 2019/20 season has been full of ups and downs but unfortunately for the Catalans, when everything is said and done, mostly downs. Still, even when the whole club is on fire, you can count on one man and it doesn’t take a wild guess to get his name right. And perhaps unsurprisingly at this stage, Lionel Messi makes history once again.
Today’s newspaper covers are full of the little Argentine who’s somehow breaking records even when the ship is sinking and the club hitting new lows. Sport have gone with a cover that says ‘Captain Messi‘, highlighting how he is changing the team so that they are ready to face Napoli in August.
But they also talk about his seventh Pichichi as the best goal-scorer for the season in LaLiga. Of course, this personal accolade, just like any other, is completely secondary to him and all he cares about is the team’s success.
Mundo Deportivo are all about breaking records and their cover celebrates Barcelona’s talisman as Lionel Messi makes history again – 1001 goal contributions with both club and country combined.
On a purely club level, however, he’s also unstoppable, tallying his seventh Pichichi and equalling the likes of ‘Torpedo‘ Müller and Eusebio who have done the same in their time and their respective leagues.
As for LaLiga, Telmo Zarra was the man to beat and now even the legendary forward is behind in the pecking order and inferior to Messi. But there is no shame in that since it’s true for probably every footballer on the planet.
Even when his team is plummeting to new lows, Messi finds a way to shine. But for how long can he keep dragging this team forward? We’ll have to wait and see.
Koeman has ruled out the departure of Junior Firpo
According to a report published by SPORT, Ronald Koeman has ruled out any and all departures from the squad in the winter transfer window – barring Matheus Fernandes -, including that of Junior Firpo to AC Milan.
The report states that Barcelona are in a sketchy position and do not want to sell any players because signing replacements is getting increasingly tough. The signing of Eric Garcia remains scheduled for the summer when he will be signed on a free transfer, while Memphis Depay and Georginio Wijnaldum seem extremely unlikely.
Firpo was linked out of Barcelona, with both Italian capital clubs – Inter Milan and AC Milan tracking his progress in Spain. A loan move to Milan with a €20 million option to buy was looking extremely realistic. Still, without reinforcements in that position, Barcelona should not be letting the Spaniard leave in the winter.
The truth is, while Barcelona are in crippling debt, and desperately require players off their wage bill, selling low-earners like Firpo seemed like a bad idea. The plan was to let go of the former-Real Betis defender and hand Alejandro Balde his debut. However, at the age of 16, that is too much pressure to knight to a player.
That said, the club is still willing to listen to offers for Matheus Fernandes, who has been deemed surplus. The Brazilian joined from Palmeiras in what was termed yet another shady deal by the long-gone Josep Bartomeu. He has registered no more than 17 minutes this season, coming on against Dynamo Kyiv in the UEFA Champions League.
Matheus was not even given the chance to play against UE Cornella in the Copa del Rey and has spent 11 games on the bench this season following his lucky 17 minutes in the UCL. Deportivo Alaves are eyeing a loan move for the 22-year-old owing to their budget limitations, and Barcelona will be hoping to make this transfer a reality soon.