Lionel Messi scores two goals in Barcelona pre-season win vs. Girona

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Lionel Messi scored two goals from outside of the penalty area in Barcelona’s 3-1 win vs. Girona.

Messi scored the second goal of the match, his first with a lovely right footed shot which struck the post and into the net. The Messi show wasn’t done there as he would also get his second in the second half. A similar shot but this time with his patented left foot beat the goalkeeper for Barcelona’s third.

Still in pre-season, Messi is expected to be called to the Argentina squad for next month’s World Cup qualifiers.

54 COMMENTS

  1. @Amit, yes that can be good strategy. And @ElChoripan also has good explanation on why La Paz game so hard. A lot of fans are not familiar with our history in Bolivia. If I remember correctly we have only three wins there in WCQ – 2006, 1974 and one in the 50s!

    Every time we won there it was because of a specific strategy of youth and early adjustment. The last one win in 2006 where everyone one in Pekerman’s outfield squad was basically between 24-27. In fact Lionel scaloni was the oldest player who played there at 27!
    In the 1974 game we actually went with a second reserve team and not the main team with similar strategy to what you say to adjust there early. The team was so unknown it was called ‘la seleccion fantasma’ – the ghost team.
    So I would agree with what you say, maybe drop matias suarez as it might be too much for him at 32 😉

    • You are rite. Maybe Matias name happened more on the river plate flow😊. There is angel correa, nico Gonzales ( if fit) , Julian Alvarez , even pavon. Host of folks available. Scaloni being in last winning team looks a nice coincidence. It’s time to put the 3win, 7 loss record for some correction. Hope afa & scaloni does something innovative this time

  2. …….. Emi mertinez…..
    Foyth…. Pezzela…. Balardi/perez…. Taglia
    Di paul…… Paredes/palacios…….Lo celso
    …………… messi……..
    Dybala………………… Mertinez
    Sub:
    Musso,rulli/bentiz,saravia,quarta,otamendi, acuna,dominguez,mac alistar, buindea,gonzales,ocampos,alario,Aguero ,

      • Mourinho is going to spoil him for sure if he doesn’t leave spurs….. on the other hand, there is levy who is a very tough negotiator which will make other clubs go away…it is a mess for him….
        the problem is that he is not getting any playtime to show his worth…if only he can make mou impress somehow he will get playtime in every game… That’s how mou is… he always plays his favorite players even they are not good enough…. look at dier or even celso…though Celso is the best player in the pitch whenever he plays..

  3. I have a slightly different thought on the 2 qualifiers. Historically we are miserable in La Paz . 7 losses in 12 games in La Paz . Its the known devil of thin air / high altitude & not sufficient acclimatization . We will have same issue this time bcos Ecuador game is on Oct 8th in Argentina & La Paz is on Oct 13th. 4 days is too less time for player to settle in. On the other side all club games across all leagues get over by Oct 1st. Bcos of covid angle – mostly all teams will be allowed to have a bigger team & will not be restricted to 23.
    Hence Scaloni should virtually plan 2 different starting 11. The team playing in La Paz should be there immediately after Oct 1st & 10days is decent time to settle in.
    To me – La Paz starting 11 can have a River Plate flavor. It could be something like:
    Lucas Alario
    Macclister – Dybala – Matias Suarez
    Palacios – Guido R
    Lisandro – Palamino – Martinez Quarta – Montiel
    Musso

    Subs can be Julian alvarez , Vera , Otamendi , Barco , Medina , Nico Gonz ( not sure on his injury… else he starts instead of Matias Suarez)

    vs Ecuador Starting 11
    Lautaro – Ocampos
    Messi
    LoCelso – Parades – DePaul
    Tagliafico – Senesi – Pezzella – Saravia
    Emiliano
    Subs can be Foyth, Dominguez , Pavon , Gaich, Claudio Bravo, Acuna

    1) Depending on total team size permitted- subs can be common .
    2) Also take a bold step on giving some of the U23 players some playtime.
    3) dont make Messi struggle in LaPaz. Give the maestro a break. Dybala gets a tough chance
    4) Zaracho misses with COVID. Kept Parades as he played last week.
    5) For playing 11 reaching La Paz early – they can also use some of the bolivian league based Argentine players as spare reserves

  4. I think scaloni should make strategy based on the merit of the team. Messi is not the most important aspect of the team. Messi is the most hungry of the lot to win world cup. But scaloni has to find a way to make Messi more dangerous than ever for other teams. Sabella did some tuning in the later stage of 2014 world cup which eventually made our defense more stable but Messi lost his reathm.

    • He should play in the 3 man midfield along a no.5 and a box to box mid. This is the strategy that Barcelona should have used starting from last season itself. This is the most sensible solution for the NT going forward. Because, Messi is always coming so deep to get and move the ball, so might as well play him there and he has another forward to pass the ball to. With Messi in midfield, we’ll see more of the ball, and they can’t completely man mark him. The best right now to make the most of his play making skill and passing is play him as a midfielder, freeing the space for both Dybala and Nico.

  5. Messi is so good that he could play at walking pace and still constantly scores or creating goals. Left foot right foot, tap in, long range, freekick, throughball… If his team is half as good as in 2009-2015, he’d have won another CL.

    In this game for intense, if you take out Messi contribution, Barca basically scores zero. They cant even beat Girona if Messi wasnt there.

      • It’s not my line up, I think scaloni will go with the same line up in WCQ 1st match similar to Brazil friendly. I also think the same, messi is getting older so his workrate must be reduced and no more use him as Right winger better to play behind the striker just like Barca under Komen. Dybala should be in RW instead of Gonzalez.

        • I think martinez will get a chance to be gk .. Atleast in a match in the upcoming fixture…. As for dybala and ocampus they will get a match… Dybala should be in first match while ocampus should be in secondmatch in la paz..
          3-4-3 is gd in paper for Argentina squad as we don’t hv proper stable rb but never worked… And most of our players doesn’t play atall in this system in their respective club….. I

          • Don’t think Scaloni give Martinez chance in his first ever competive match. Andrada played more minutes under Scaloni then musso. Martinez yet to debut. Experience wise and previous Brazil friendly match line up maximum chance Andrada starting as no1, only obstacles to him wasn’t playing football long due to COVID 19 but I would like Musso to start and grab the spot

  6. . …………….. Martinez…………..
    ????……quatra….pazella…..tagla
    Celso…….paredes……..de paul
    …………. Messi…………..
    Dybala…………….lautaro….

    Note: kun is sub because he just came from injury and we need to see dybala messi combo for one more time like chile match.as he will sub for kun when he is fit,so we need to build a combination between PD10 and LM10 …. Ocompus,acuna,ota for la pez match… This squad is for first match…for la pez match we need energetic squad… De maria can be considered….

  7. I do not know why people criticize Otamendi, in couple of last matches he was our best Center Back.People are crticizing him for his age about which he can not do anything.He has been very good for national team. Otamendi still has speed,tackling ,good in air,great passing,everything a backline needs plus he can score goals in set pieces and in corners with electric headers.
    I see Nehuen Perez and Medina as replacement for our CB pair.Sarvia is ahead of Foyth now.

    • Because of club form… He is still best ball playing solid cb.. But can’t play good in high line defence like city as he is getting slow and he tackles too much…he is not type of cb who like to play 1vs1..but solid in air and dangerous in set piece…hv good height and great strength….he is best if paired with a clever cb like pazzela or garay…still good for nt and scolani system… He can thrive in inter or Atletico system or lazio system like mid-low defensive line is good for him too… He is not good for high line like city

      • Problem with Man city is that their fullback are mostly in advance position that makes their CB pair exposed and if Otamendi makes one wrong tackle the goal is invitable.But for Argentina Otamendi is best.Otamendi has everything what Scaloni needs.I want to see his electric header in goal

    • I think they doesnt know about football, they criticised Otamendi bcoz of Age. Very funny…32 yrs of age is not a bid deal of a Central defender. Otamendi is da best Central Defender we have right now. Portugal have pepe(39), Brazil have Silva( 36), Germany have Boyetang(31), Spain have Ramos( 36), Italy have ( chiyelin 36), Bonucchi (32) and so on…. Age is not a big issue of a central defender. De

        • I do not think our young defenders are better than Otamendi.Otamendi has proven himself in La Liga and in Premiere league.He still has a lot to give.Nehuen Perez and Medina should be included into team slowly.Otamendi’ tackling rate sucees is 7/8 which is good,but if you watches Otamendi’s mistake in you tube then it is hundred percent

        • Mundo users need to understand that to play for argentina a player needs to play regularly for the club. by selecting players like otamendi on the basis of past performances would do injustice to players working their socks off for their clubs in order to gain a call from the national team like Walter Benitez . If scaloni continues to call up players who play for their clubs regularly it would encourage bench warmers like Sergio Romero to push for an exit so that they can play regular football at another club.

          • Otamendi is best CB for Argentina and he has done nothing wrong till now so why repair something which is not broken.Otamendi and Pezella are best CB pair.

      • Thats not a strong argument to reject Otamendi . Almost entire Argentine CB defenders are slow. Maybe Foyth, Lisandro, Medina now & earlier Rojo had avg pace at best . Pezzella , Martinez Quarta, Perez, Senesi ,Romero, Palamino are all slow or atleast not fast for sure.
        His lack of club game time is a concern imo. But i still feel Otamendi can contribute to NT atleast till Copa 21 if not WC22 . May not be a regular starter. But definitely a must in playing 23 & can help integrate the youngsters.

  8. Now scaloni should build a defensively immensely strong team. We have some good talents at our disposal. We need to make use of them. After a long time we have got some potentially good if not great defenders. And most of them are young. Nahuen Perez, Marcus seensi, Christian Romero, Juan foyth, Leonardo balerdi, facundo medina, Lucas Martinez quarta all of them potential. Now it is the job of the coach to get the best out of them. As far as Argentina league is concerned I want scaloni to give chance to 3 players. Fausto Vera, Christian Ferreira and Thiago almada. And there should not be otamendi and acuna. Otamendi is not getting any younger and acuna has not done any justice to his name so far for Argentina. And of course this is the best time to give a chance to medina. I don’t care about Olympics. We need to win both Copa America and world cup and if everything goes well by the grace of God we will be the champion.

    • For now ota has to be here…. We should cb with experience and younger upcoming one… But not all the new one….they can be included in the team as sub or in friendl… Bt for wcq we should stop experimenting… Only gk position is up for grab and open…..other position is sorted out… For rb is still not sure…. For now we can use makeshift rb or right wing back or foyth is Alright too… As long as he perform for selection i don’t care what morinho thinks of him or plays him…

  9. Good to see Messi back in action. Koeman start the revolution by bringing the young players combine with Messi, Coutinho and Griezman, De Jong in and as double pivot. A new system 4-2-3-1. Big superstar clubs like Barca needs a high profile and strong character coach to manage and control the dressing room.

    Trust Messi will enjoy his last season with Barca.

  10. A De Paul to Leeds move is looking more and more likely. Yesterday it was deemed “impossible” for them to sign him due to the cost, but today it looks like they are planning a loan to buy option, with the final price being 37 million dollars. This should ease the financial burden.

  11. In La- Paz match.. We need Di maria. He is one of the best adjustable player in height we need in la paz. He was the best player in Argentina in da last La paz match…. Hope scaloni finds the solution in La paz match.
    La paz match.. My best 11 is.. Marchesin, Saravia, pezzela, Otamendi, Tagliafico, Guido, De paul, Lo celso, Di maria, messi, Lautaro.

    Sub: Aguera, Paredes, Ocampos

      • In sudamericano qualifiers every match is difficult, every team is difficult to win and every win is hard earned. A good coach has to have very good idea about the capabilities of the players at his disposal. Sabella had clear idea. Scaloni has not made up his mind. We have to admit that qualifiers and friendlies are not the same. Earlier scaloni had chosen players like Matias Suarez, Guido pizzaro, Matias vargas. All of them turned out to be loosers. So from this point player selection and strategy both are equally important for our beloved Argentina team. Vamos Argentina.

      • ahem….flashbacks to 2009 :/

        More below….pretty controversial to say the least. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-altitude_football_controversy

        High-altitude football controversy

        The high-altitude football controversy arose in May 2007 when FIFA introduced a temporary ban on international matches at more than 2,500 metres (8,200 ft) above sea level, citing concerns about players’ health and the “unfair” advantage to acclimatised home teams. The ruling meant that Bolivia, Ecuador, and Colombia would be prevented from hosting FIFA World Cup qualifiers in their own capital cities. The ban was revoked in May 2008.

        The ruling followed complaints by the Brazilian Football Confederation that La Paz and other Andean venues left visiting players gasping for breath and with pounding hearts. Brazilian club Flamengo had vowed to boycott high-altitude games after several of its players resorted to using bottled oxygen during a Copa Libertadores fixture against Real Potosí of Bolivia, held in rainy conditions at an altitude of 3,637 metres (11,932 ft).[1] Following this complaint a number of other Brazilian clubs declared that they would not play Copa Libertadores games at high altitude and put pressure on the Brazilian Football Confederation and FIFA to impose a ban on football at high altitude.

        The ruling
        The ruling required players to arrive at the host city one week before international games above 2,500 metres (8,200 ft) and two weeks for matches higher than 3,000 metres (9,800 ft), to allow time to adjust to the thin air.

        Reaction
        Many of Bolivia’s major cities, including Sucre and Potosí, are at high altitude. Bolivia’s president, Evo Morales, vowed to lead a campaign against the ban after speaking at an emergency cabinet meeting. Morales said the ruling amounted to discrimination: “This is not only a ban on Bolivia, but it is also a ban on the universality of sports.” Morales described the ban as “football apartheid,” said he would send a high-level delegation to FIFA’s headquarters in Zurich, and called on other countries to join his campaign. “We cannot allow discrimination in football, we cannot allow… exclusion in the world of sports,” he added.

        Diego Maradona joined the campaign, playing an hour-long game at Hernando Siles stadium in La Paz, which is located 3,600 metres (11,800 ft) above sea level, to show that if a 47-year-old could play there, so could fit, young professionals. He led a team of former Argentine internationals in a 7–4 victory over a Bolivian team led by Evo Morales.[2] On 1 April 2009, FIFA called Bolivia’s 6–1 victory over the Maradona-coached Argentina national team a “stunning defeat in high altitude against the rank outsiders”. Maradona did not blame the altitude for Argentina’s defeat, giving credit to the Bolivian players “from the goalkeeper to the last substitute”.[3]

        All of the football associations in South America except Brazil stated that they would ignore the ban on high-altitude football and play fixtures in the stadium of their host’s choice, whether or not they had the opportunity to acclimatise for a week.

        Raising of the limit
        In June 2007 FIFA raised the limit from 2,500 metres (8,200 ft) to 3,000 metres (9,800 ft), meaning that the only capital city affected by the ban would be La Paz.[4]

        Suspension of the ban
        In May 2008, FIFA suspended the ban after a letter of protest from CONMEBOL, the governing body of South American football, backed by all member associations except for the Brazilian Football Confederation.[5][6] FIFA’s executive committee voted to rescind the ruling, thus allowing Bolivia and Ecuador to host World Cup qualifying games in their capital cities.[7] Sepp Blatter, FIFA’s president, said the prohibition had been provisionally lifted while further studies were conducted on the effect of high altitude as well extremes of temperature, humidity, and high levels of pollution, saying “Let us reopen the discussion.”[8] However, on 10 June 2010 Blatter stated that “The subject of altitude is not on FIFA’s agenda.”[9]