'This Barcelona Side Expects Messi To Do The Magic'


Reigning LaLiga champions FC Barcelona, who have come in for heavy criticism over their style of play this season, have now been accused of being over-reliant on the performances of their captain and talisman, Lionel Messi. 

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Former Real Madrid boss Fabio Capello has given a scathing critique of Barca's tactical set-up this season, accusing the club of having no real plan other than to give the ball to Messi.

"I liked Barcelona how they were before, (this side) spends too long just passing the ball about the pitch, without getting near the opponents' area, then hope that the genius, Leo Messi, conjures up some magic," the two-time LaLiga-winning coach said, as reported by AS.

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Capello also appeared to suggest that Barca's style of play under new manager Quique Setien is one-dimensional and paled in comparison to the tactical abilities of one of the club's former bosses, Pep Guardiola.

"I like the trainers ready on the bench, who know how to identify the characteristics of their players and adapt their tactical strategy to the playing style of their best players," the 73-year-old added. 

"Guardiola has changed a lot. You look at Manchester City and there is no tiki-taka. It's vertical football, aggressive, high speed, and always looking towards the goal. He understands that he has to evolve to keep winning."

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Barcelona are currently three points behind Los Blancos in the LaLiga table after 23 games, while Mess tops the goalscoring charts with 14 goals in 18 appearances for the campaign.