'Messi is uncomfortable at Barcelona' - Argentine superstar struggling amid the Blaugrana's search for an identity, says Veron
A man who used to play alongside the six-time Ballon d'Or winner at international level doesn't think he is enjoying his football at Camp Nou
Lionel Messi is uncomfortable at Barcelona, according to Juan Sebastian Veron, who says the Argentine superstar is struggling amid the Blaugrana's search for an identity.
Barcelona has been a hassle to banish the memory of a trophyless 2019-20 campaign in the early stages of the new season, picking up just seven points from a possible 15 in La Liga.
To make matters worse, Messi has not scored a single goal from open play in his last six appearances for the club, with two successful penalties doing little to silence those who believe he is no longer fully committed to the collective cause at Camp Nou.
The 33-year-old handed in a transfer request over the summer only to later perform a U-turn on his future amid the looming threat of a legal battle, but he will be free to push for a move once again when the transfer window reopens in January.
Messi, who has a clause in his contract which allows him to leave Barca on a free transfer at the end of each season should he choose to do so, also expressed concern over Barca's ability to compete at the very highest level after an 8-2 drubbing at the hands of Bayern Munich in the Champions League last term.
The six-time Ballon d'Or winner has been linked with the likes of Inter, Paris Saint-Germain, and Manch, ester City in recent months, and it has been suggested that Saturday's 3-1 defeat to Real Madrid will end up being his final Clasico appearance at Camp Nou.
Veron thinks Barca is in the saddle of a transitional period which is hampering Messi's ability to perform, and that Ronald Koeman has yet to figure out the best way to utilize a talismanic performer's talents in the final third of the pitch.
"I see him with a lot of discomfort playing in a team in transition," the former Argentine international told Ole. "In all of these years at Barcelona he was a key player but now they're in transition, they have a lot of spare parts and are trying to find an identity