Most clubs possess a 'Messi' of their own. Manchester United's Robin van Persie, Luis Suarez of Liverpool, Gareth Bale of Tottenham Hotspur and the list is endless and it all depends on the coach and the fans.
Barcelona have their own 'Messi' and that is Lionel Messi. It does not matter the opinion of pundits, media, coaches or any fans. Messi is great, greater than the greatest players because of the way he has carried a very weak and unable Barca on his own. With every cough, the Catalans struggled and struggled big time.
At this point, I do not need an opinion about how bad La Liga champions-elect are. They have been bad, and for a long while, only the mask performance of one Messi seduced us to believe they are good. They pass the ball well, yes, but they defend like school boys. Maybe that is good enough but I am not sold on that one.
The abilities of Iniesta and Xavi are undoubted, but Barca can easily do without each or both, but not without Messi - never. May I mention that after losing 0-2 to AC Milan in Italy two weeks ago, we all wrote Barcelona off. Their 4-0 victory is nothing short of a miracle. Without Messi, that scoreline could have easily belonged to Milan, believe it or not.
The Italians arrived at the Camp Nou believing being Italian is a defensive strategy on its own. They were almost right and they crowded both Messi and the spaces he works it. It worked wonders and nobody could have done a better job. I have never witnessed Messi have such a bad day in office. He lost the ball in one match more than I have seen him in a year.
On such a bad day for the magician, a glimple of who who is came in 5 minutes with a stunner from as little a space as could fit an ant. He squeezed the ball through a needle's eye with the accuracy to goal to match. One may have seen similar goals but the difference here is that the little Argentinian knew what he was doing and had every intention of doing that.
Five minutes from the break, with as little space from similar circumstances, maybe a little demanding, he coughed out the same deadliness and his intentions were less clearer, only this by his standards. Whether he is the greatest ever football player will remain a matter of opinion, as many measure that in term of accolades and team achievements. As an individual, Zinedine Zidane, Pele, Diego Maradona and Ronaldinho have been very close to what Messi is giving us, and maybe they gave more but an I doubt.