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With Messi none of this would be happening

After just eight matches, Barcelona are already looking adrift. They have already made it clear that they are going to struggle to reach the last 16 of the Champions League, and in LaLiga Santander they are struggling to keep pace with the leaders, Real Madrid. Ronald Koeman's days are numbered and Joan Laporta is already looking for a replacement. It is clear that allowing Lionel Messi to leave has been a major blunder. It is true that he was paid a lot of money and that the club had a lot of problems with LaLiga's salary limit, but the team has been left orphaned, without a reference in attack.

Messi wins games. All by himself. As he did this Tuesday for Paris Saint-Germain. When Manchester City were pressing the most, Messi emerged to score his goal and all but secure the three points. With him, Barcelona would have beaten Granada and Cadiz. And Lisbon would have been a totally different story. Besides, he was the perfect example for the youngsters. Gavi and Nico Gonzalez would have learned a lot from him, for example. But there was no money.

The problem is that what Messi does has not been appreciated. The Argentine is not as expensive as you might think because his presence attracts new sponsors. And that those who are there don't leave in a hurry, as is now happening. Messi's departure has caused several companies that had the idea of collaborating with Barcelona to abandon their plans. And winning matches in the Champions League and getting into the last 16 also represents money. In Paris they are rubbing their hands with the business deals they are doing with the 34-year-old. At Barcelona they have asked for a huge loan in order to survive. Either the ball starts rolling now or there are going to be turbulent years ahead at the Camp Nou.

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