Lionel Messi He faces what could be his last season at Barça, without his friend Luis Suárez and with the debut of coach Ronald Koeman.
Barcelona receives a tough rival like Villarreal, in the debut on the third date of the Spanish League of the Catalan team in the season that could be the last of Lionel Messi in this tournament, since the Argentine had to remain in a club from which he asked to leave despite the fact that he still had one year left on his contract with the Catalan club.
Without an audience in the stands of the Camp Nou stadium, and for that reason neither judgment of the fans after a convulsed preseason of Barça, This match will be played from 16 (Argentine time), with the arbitration of Guillermo Cuadra Fernández and Live and direct televising of ESPN 2 (Cablevisión channels 103 and DirecTV channels 623).
The expectation will be focused mainly on the performance of Lionel Messi in the field, whose public anger with the club’s leadership took to the background the presentation that this Sunday will be official of his new coach, the Dutch Ronald Koeman, who arrived to replace him Quique Setién fired and whose first great decision was to dispense with Luis Suárez, no less.
Messi, estranged from President Josep María Bartomeu and disenchanted after the debacle in the Champions League caused by the historic 8-2 loss to Bayern Munich, exploded a bomb in the short summer break by sending a document letter (known in Spain as a burofax) in which he required to avail himself of a clause that gave him freedom, which was rejected by the club.
Thus, while in England they were preparing their possible landing at Manchester City, Leo had to define its continuity after being notified by the Catalan club that, in case of executing said clause, he would have to face a legal claim.
After a frantic week in which he was confined at home while the rest of the Barcelona squad had already started training, the captain joined the club when he decided to stay and thus avoid a lawsuit in court against the institution with which They have been in a relationship for two decades.
This context, in which Messi seems to have stayed against his will, focuses the expectation of what the Argentine star can deliver on the field, whom Koeman praised for being “an example”, since “in training he is eagerly ”. “I have no doubt about him,” said the coach.
The last public manifestation of Leo was the farewell that he offered to his friend Luis Suárez through social networks, with a message that included a criticism, albeit indirect, of the way the club handled itself when the Uruguayan striker left, who left Barça after six years to join Atlético de Madrid.
And since he did not specify if the questions were only for the leadership or also for the new coach, Koeman, when taking for granted, came out in self-defense.
“It seems that I am the bad guy in the movie and it is not like that because I respected Suárez as a player and as a person. They are also decisions by the club that thought about changing things and I supported those decisions,” defended the Dutchman at the wheel pre-match press release.
The way Suárez left motivated another attack by Messi against the leadership, and the indisputable bad humor of the Rosario was once again in evidence and cause the dressing room to be a time bomb having their leader with little desire to be there.
He specified it is that from next January Messi can start planning his future now move the tiles to emigrate from CataloniaOnly time will answer the questions that arise in this regard.
In addition to Luis Suárez, Ivan Rakitic, Arturo Vidal, Arthur and Nelson Semedo have left, and so far only Miralem Pjanic and Philippe Coutinho have joined, the latter back after having been on loan at Bayern Munich.
While waiting for a forward, a central defender and a right-back, Koeman will have to settle for assembling a team with many of the regulars from last season and fitting them into his system, a 4-2-3-1 to which the Camp Nou he is very unaccustomed.
The most notable absence this Sunday will be that of goalkeeper Marc-Andre Ter Stegen, who is recovering from a knee operation.
For its part, Villarreal, which has two Argentines, the recently incorporated goalkeeper Gerónimo Rulli (he is a substitute) and the defender Ramiro Funes Mori, has four points in La Liga after drawing with Huesca and beating Eibar.