How Barcelona may line up if Lionel Messi returns

It’s trying increasingly more seemingly that Lionel Messi will go away PSG and make a sensational return to Barcelona this summer time.

The Catalan membership did not need to lose him in the summertime of 2021 and he did not need to go away, with monetary points forcing the 2 to go their separate methods.

Since then, he hasn’t actually settled in Paris, performing effectively more often than not however failing to carry Champions League success to the membership and being booed by a few of their followers who’ve been sad together with his angle just lately.

His contract with the Ligue 1 champions expires on the finish of the season and it is starting to look unlikely that he’ll select to remain there past that.

Sources have advised 90min the possibilities of such a transfer are rising, so we must always most likely begin fascinated with how he would match into supervisor Xavi’s present facet…

Lionel Messi, Xavi Hernandez

Xavi has seen the most effective of Messi up shut / Victor Fraile/GettyImages

The most evident place for Messi in Xavi’s system is on the precise wing. He’s performed there for a lot of his profession and the Barcelona gamers that at present fill that spot, Ousmane Dembele and Raphinha, aren’t precisely undroppable.

However, since taking up, Xavi has typically all the time had at the very least one winger in his beginning XI that may keep large, beat their man and ship in a cross; with Messi and Gavi – who has made the left-wing spot his personal just lately – out large, he’d be missing such a participant.

He may transfer Gavi into midfield and put Dembele on the left, however could be reluctant to take action given how effectively Pedri and Frenkie de Jong are doing because the crew’s CMs. Instead, he may look to tweak his ways to make sure that he can play all of his greatest gamers of their greatest roles.

Potential lineups:

Messi (RW) – Lewandowski (ST) – Gavi (LW)

Messi (RW) – Lewandowski (ST) – Dembele (LW)


Xavi has not often veered away from his 4-3-3 system, however becoming within the best participant of all time is pretty much as good a motive as any.

Messi has performed primarily in a free position behind a striker lately and if his former team-mate switched to a 4-2-3-1 to permit him to play as a quantity ten at Barça too, it might make for fairly the entrance 4.

However, a double pivot of Pedri and Frenkie de Jong with Messi forward of them would not provide a lot safety to the defence, so that is more than likely a system that will solely be used towards weaker sides.

Potential lineups:

Dembele (RW) – Messi (CAM) – Gavi (LW)

Lewandowski (ST)

Raphinha (RW) – Messi (CAM) – Gavi (LW)

Lewandowski (ST)

Lionel Messi, Robert Lewandowski

Messi and Lewandowski squared off on the 2022 World Cup / Soccrates Images/GettyImages

He’s since settled on a 4-3-3, however Xavi did use a again three sometimes throughout his first season as Barcelona supervisor and will achieve this once more if he wished to create some of the terrifying strike partnerships on the earth.

On paper, Messi and Robert Lewandowski are a superb match for each other. The Argentine would float round as a false 9 on the lookout for the ball whereas the Pole would make runs in behind and get into the field, and it might be completely deadly.

A midfield three of Pedri, Gavi and De Jong may work in such a setup too, with the presence of three central defenders lowering the necessity for them to guard their backline.

Potential lineup:

Pedri (CM) – De Jong (DM) – Gavi (CM)

Messi (ST) – Lewandowski (ST)

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