Messi: I have no problem rotating
With Barcelona enjoying an almost perfect campaign to this point, Lionel Messi has sensationally claimed that the current Los Cules team are more balanced without Neymar
Neymar departed for Paris Saint-Germain in the summer and few expected Ernesto Valverde’s side to recover in the manner in which they have thus far.
“Without Neymar we are more balanced,” Messi explained in an interview with World Soccer.
“His departure meant a change in our way of playing, we lost a lot of attacking potential, but it helped in the defensive sense.
“We are currently very well armed in the midfield; this makes us stronger in defence.”
The Blaugrana face Chelsea in the Champions League, however the Argentine feels as though it’s another English team who will prove to be their biggest challenge for the crown.
“Manchester City are one of the strongest teams in the world at this moment,” he confirmed.
“The same goes for PSG, but there is a lot of football left and I don’t rule Real Madrid out.
“They have a lot of quality and experience, then there is Bayern Munich who are a great team who will fight to the end.”
Samuel Umtiti’s season has been fantastic, he has established himself as the club’s best central defender and Messi is not at all surprised by the Frenchman’s development.
“[Umtiti] trains in the same way he plays,” he intimated. “He doesn’t leave anything in reserve; he’s an excellent person away from the pitch as well.
“Seeing how he trains, I’m not surprised at what he does in matches, I see all his qualities.”