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Papers: Lionel Messi shines as Barcelona finally return to winning ways

Domagoj Kostanjšak

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Photo by LLUIS GENE / AFP) (Photo by LLUIS GENE/AFP via Getty Images

Barcelona finally returned to winning ways last weekend against Levante at the Camp Nou. It wasn’t exactly an easy night and a tight 1-0 victory doesn’t infuse a lot of confidence into the team but the three points are what’s important here. The covers, naturally, are focusing on the clash and the big triumph.

Mundo Deportivo talk about a ‘happy ending‘ with Lionel Messi’s brilliant left foot deciding the match and sealing the victory.

Interestingly, this was Leo’s goal number 642, which means he’s just one away from equalling Pelé’s all-time figure of 643 for a single club. The Argentine is almost there and can already feel the record on his fingertips.

SPORT are preoccupied with the very same things. They have Messi on the cover and say he’s the one that’s somehow pulling this Barcelona team forward.

Even though he hasn’t been scoring as much, Leo is still the best player on the pitch and by far the most influential individual on the squad.

Ronald Koeman has slightly changed the system but despite some improvements on and off the ball, the Catalans still struggled a lot.

I’ve been a Barcelona fan for more than half of my life. What started as blind love is slowly turning into professional writing. Now, I get to write about Barca, analyse them, and voice my opinions on them across platforms. I’m happy to be a part of this big project.

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Official: Lionel Messi named La Liga Player of the Month for February

Udhav Arora

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Photo via Imago

2021 has treated Barcelona very well. They have picked up more points this year alone than they did from September to December, even after the inclusion of more competitions, like the Spanish Super Cup. This charge has been led by none other than the GOAT – Lionel Messi. The Argentine has been rewarded for the same as he picks up the La Liga Player of the Month for February.

Messi was nominated alongside Real Madrid’s Thibaut Courtois, Real Sociedad’s Aleksander Isak, Real Betis’ Nabil Fekir, Levante’s Jose Luis Morales, Sevilla’s Yassine Bounou, and Athletic Bilbao’s Alek Berenguer for the award, but tipped each one of them to win it. This comes on the back of a sensational performance stretching across five games where he scored seven goals (including two braces), and two assists.

With this win, the six-time Ballon d’Or winner has extended his own records of the most wins, with eight such trophies to his name now. What is surprising, though, is that Messi did not win the first of his January 2016, almost two years after the award was introduced in the league (November 2013). It is also his first win in over a year, with the last of these trophies coming to him in November 2019.

In fact, no Barcelona player achieved this feat in 24 months despite winning the La Liga once by this time. Neymar was the first player from Barça to get his hands on the trophy for his remarkable form in November 2015.

Unsurprisingly, Luis Suarez has won the award four times himself, etching his name alongside his two partners in crime. His name is alongside Iago Aspas and Antoine Griezmann, sharing the runners up position in the pedestal for the second-most wins of the award. Sadly, the latter has not been able to mark any wins since joining Barcelona in 2019. Other than the incredible MSN, Ansu Fati is the only player from the Garnet and Blue to win the Player of the Month, sealing it for himself in September 2020.

Frenkie de Jong was within a real shout to win the award last month, but Youssef En-Nesyri’s incredible form for Sevilla could not be overlooked.

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