Archive. Football. Statistic & History
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Column #20

Author: Isaque Argolo | Creation Date: 2022-10-27 17:07:22

Data providers: Isaque Argolo.
I just got a very interesting question: how would I put Lionel Messi on an eventual team with the W or Y system – five-forward line. Well, I thought a bit about this, because Messi, in a standard tactical organization, was very often placed as the right winger or in the center of the attack for F.C. Barcelona. Consequently, it would be synthetic to place him as right winger or centre-forward.
However, I will discuss this subject in more depth. Since Guardiola started coaching Messi in 2008/09, I didn't like to see him more on the side of the field, as the Argentine always tended to centralize, therefore giving up more on the right side — something I hate when wingers do, because they end up creating spaces on their side of the field, which can be exploited in an eventual counter-attack by the opposing team. Messi progressively molded himself into the center of attack. Messi returned more to the side of the field in 2014/15, when Luis Enrique took charge of the Blaugrana team.
In such a way, I would place Messi as centre-forward or inside right. Centre-forward, acting in what is now called the false 9, is where I saw Messi excel at a level equivalent to that of the greatest players of all time. Messi, consequently, would do what even Gschweidl used to do, even if he was centering — going a little to the right side, but not so much as to become a winger. Already placed as inside right, Messi would not need to move from the position, as he would already be in it.
Of course, this is just a rumination — and I like being asked those kinds of questions. Messi could be perfectly placed as a right winger, inside right or centre-forward. For example, if I were to put him alongside the legendary 1939 team, it would look like this:
García Masantonio Messi
Moreno Sastre
* * *
García Masantonio Peucelle
Moreno Messi
* * *
García Messi Peucelle
Moreno Sastre