But what the question remains now is how will FC Barcelona function without the Argentine? We take a look at the best possible lineup without Messi and how can Ronald Koeman move forward.
Although FC Barcelona has lost a huge name, they still have made substantial signings in this summer transfer window. Sergio Aguero, Eric Garcia and Memphis Depay have all joined the club and are sure going to give a big boost.
We are taking a 4-2-3-1 formation with two holding midfielders, one attacking midfielder and two wingers with a striker upfront.
- Goalkeeper – Marc Andre Ter Stegen
The German remains one of the most experienced players in the current Barcelona squad. He won the Champions League in 2015 with the Catalan club, Ter Stegen has been an instrumental player for their recent success. He will be important if they want to go for the prestigious La Liga title.
2.Left Back – Jordi Alba
Yet another player with an immense amount of expertise under the belt. Jordi Alba will be in the left-back position and needs to step up this season. He registered 14 assists in La Liga last season and is a durable player.
3. Center Back – Gerard Pique
It’s a tough choice between youth and experience but we need to accommodate one guy at the back as it’s essential to have a vocal leader. There’s no one better to lead than Pique who has been doing the same for years at Camp Nou. Pique missed a majority of matches last season plus the UEFA Euros due to injury but will be back fresh now.
4 Center Back – Ronald Araujo
Ronald Araujo is one of the bright young defenders for Barcelona with the likes of Oscar Mingueza also in contention. The Uruguayan international was brilliant last season and is one of the best players. He will be a vital asset for Ronald Koeman.
5. Right Back – Sergino Dest
The American youngster is a great attacking threat and is important for Ronald Koeman’s system. Dest can make darting runs in the opposition’s half and deliver pinpoint crosses. Although he’s not at the levels of say Trent Alexander Arnold or former Barcelona player Dani Alves, he’s got the talent.
6. CMF – Sergio Busquets
The first central midfielder on the list is Spanish international Sergio Busquets. He has slowed down a bit but remains dominant in Barcelona’s midfield. He will be dictating the play and showed during the UEFA Euros that he’s still got it.
7. CMF – Frenkie de Jong
The Dutchman will partner up with Sergio Busquets in the midfield. Typically a holding midfielder, he was handed over a more advanced position last season. And he has performed admirably well in that regard registering seven goals and eight assists.
8. Attacking midfielder – Antoine Griezmann
With Lionel Messi not in the picture anymore, Antoine Griezmann is set to take the centre stage. Now that Lionel Messi is not taking the attacking midfielder position, Griezmann can now slot in a more free role. He will be getting the freedom to create the plays.
9. Right Winger – Ansu Fati
The Spanish youngster has been sidelined since November 2020 after suffering a ligament injury. He opted out of playing in UEFA Euros and is now available for selection after returning to Barcelona’s preseason training. Another alternative for Ansu Fati can definitely be Ousmane Dembele.
10. Left Winger – Memphis Depay
The Dutch forward has already started stunningly for Barcelona during their preseason games. He got on the scoresheet for them in the Joan Gamper Trophy final against Juventus. Depay has great pace and good finishing skills which are useful qualities in a winger.
11. Centre Forward – Sergio Aguero
And finally, we get to the last position and the centre forward for the team. Sergio Aguero arrived in Camp Nou from Manchester City to combine with Lionel Messi but that didn’t work out so well! Nevertheless, the Argentine striker is still one of the best in the business. Since the departure of Luis Suarez, Barcelona has missed a clinical finisher and Aguero can fill that void.