This is a long-standing question: If Messi plays in the Premier League, can he be as omnipotent as in La Liga? For many years, people’s hopes of finding answers to their questions have become less and less, but with Messi’s application to Barcelona to leave the team, it may be time to make bold predictions.
In the eyes of most fans, Messi is like the god of football and should not be criticized. But some people always question his achievements. They want to know, if the 33-year-old Messi leaves La Liga, can he still make shocking numbers in the game? Although Messi played a hat-trick against Celta, Mallorca and Ebar last season alone, doubters believe that this is because the opponents are too weak.
When Messi scores, he makes everything seem too easy-this may be the problem. Some people have concluded from this: In La Liga, the strength gap between the strong and the weak is too great.
But this view is untenable.
If you don't count Messi's data, you will find that in the past ten years, the number of hat tricks in the Premier League has been higher than in La Liga. In all hat tricks in La Liga over the past decade, Messi alone accounted for nearly a quarter. In the past three seasons, there have been 33 hat tricks in La Liga, of which Messi has completed 10 times.
In fact, La Liga is one of the most competitive leagues in the world. Otherwise, how could Sevilla, ranked fourth in La Liga, win the Europa League for the sixth time?
Since the turn of the century, La Liga teams accounted for nearly half of all winning teams in European club competitions. A total of 8 different La Liga clubs have reached the European finals, which is more than the Premier League.
In short, La Liga is an elite league, but for a long time, there are two players that often make La Liga teams look uncompetitive. They are Ronaldo and Messi.
In the past ten years, apart from Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi, there is only one player who scored more than 30 goals in a single season in La Liga: Suarez, and the latter also left the Premier League with more than 30 goals in a single season.
Last season, the total number of goals scored in La Liga was 92 fewer than the Premier League... It is reasonable to think that if Messi joins a Premier League club, then his league goal data is likely to surprise everyone.
Of course, this does not mean that Messi does not need to make adjustments. According to the latest statistics, the pace of the Premier League is still faster than that of La Liga; in the Premier League, the average number of high-intensity activities per game is much higher than the other four major European leagues.
When Messi was young, he often put pressure on opposing defensive players in the frontcourt, but in the past few seasons, he seems to have reduced the intensity of his activities in the game in order to protect his body.
This did have an effect.
Messi is rarely injured. In the past ten years, Messi’s cumulative playing time in La Liga reached 28,792 minutes. This data not only ranks first among all La Liga players, but also far exceeds any outfield player during the same period. Kyle Walker's data is the closest to Messi, but the gap is still 3850 minutes, which is equivalent to a team's total game time in a single full season.
Messi's body is very stable, although sometimes it doesn't look as desperate as other players, but as long as he is on the court, he can always pose a threat to his opponent.
If a Messi who lacks movement comes to the Premier League, how much impact will he have on the league? This is a reasonable question. But in any case, Messi will use his other specialties to influence the game.
For example, Messi has an unparalleled free kick record. In the past three seasons, Messi has scored 17 free kicks in La Liga (6, 6, 5). In the same time period, only one Premier League player has achieved 5 league free kicks, and he is Ward Prouss playing for Southampton. Manchester City is the Premier League team that has scored the most free kicks in the past three seasons, but the number of goals scored by Manchester City's free kicks is less than half of Messi...He is the master of the masters.
In a sense, Messi's ability to take free kicks also reflects his long-range accuracy. In addition to free kicks, Messi still has the ability to find space in sports battles. Therefore, the Premier League goalkeeper needs to beware of Messi's long shots outside the penalty area. In the past four seasons, Messi has scored 35 goals outside the penalty area. In the Premier League, the player with the most statistics during the same period is De Bruyne, but he has only scored 15 goals outside the penalty area.
Of course, shooting and scoring are only part of Messi's offensive methods. Although he is over thirty years old, he still has top dribbling ability. In the past ten years, Messi’s average number of dribbles per game has been very stable. The total number of dribbles in a single season has never been less than 182. For comparison, the total number of dribbles in a season of other La Liga players is even less than 100. Last season, Messi completed only 1 less dribbling in La Liga than Wolves forward Traore.
With age, Messi's dribbling ability may gradually decline, but he is also one of the greatest passers in football history. In La Liga last season, Messi completed 21 assists, almost twice as many as the second-placed player in La Liga (Oyazabal), and also exceeded the single-season player assist record of the Premier League (Henry’s 20 times). ).
More importantly, Messi is extremely good at sending straight passes to his teammates. In the past three La Liga seasons, Messi has completed 70 straight passes through the opponent's direction. From this data point of view, De Bruyne is the player closest to Messi, but the number of straight passes he sent is less than half of Messi.
Will Messi join Manchester City or another Premier League team? It's hard to tell. But combined with the above data analysis, if someone concludes that he cannot adapt to the environment of the Premier League, it is likely to be beaten in the face.
It is difficult for Messi to adapt to the Premier League? A closer to the truth may be that it takes time for the Premier League (fans) to adapt to a player with extraordinary talent like Messi.