HomeSoccerHas Lionel Messi’s form really dipped since Pep Guardiola’s...

Has Lionel Messi’s form really dipped since Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona exit?

- Advertisement -

Six Ballon d’Or awards, six European Golden Shoes, tons of goals and assists, a flurry of records and a number of trophies are great things to have in a resume. However, Lionel Messi has set such high standards for himself that two Ballon d’Ors in seven years look below-par.

When one compares that with his four back-to-back Ballon d’Or triumphs between 2009 and 2012, Messi’s recent accomplishments does seem bleak. And that’s what Ajax manager Erik ten Hag has claimed. He feels the diminutive Argentine has seen a dip in his form since Pep Guardiola left Barcelona in 2012.
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

There’s no denying the impact Guardiola had on Messi but that doesn’t necessarily validate or mean that ‘Messi after Guardiola’ is not on the same level as ‘Messi under Guardiola’.

“Messi was one of the leaders, but he also worked for the team and excelled as a result. He has never been as good as under Guardiola. Messi still excels, but now also occasionally goes through the lower limit. It was never like that under Guardiola. Pep has guts, he dares to be pioneering and innovative.”

Erik ten Haag

Messi’s stats over the seasons

2008-095138 (23 in la liga)18
2009-105347 (34 in la liga)13
2010-115553 (31 in la liga)24
2011-126073 (50 in la liga)31
2012-135060 (46 in la liga)15
2013-144641 (28 in la liga)14
2014-155758 (43 in la liga)28
2015-164941 (28 in la liga)23
2016-175254 (37 in la liga)16
2017-185445 (34 in la liga)18
2018-195051 (36 in la liga)22
Messi’s numbers are staggering to say the least.

Messi’s performance under different managers

Whether Lionel Messi had more impact under Pep Guardiola can be debated, but his goals and assists data remains fairly consistent under all the managers he has played at Barcelona.

Here’s the break-up of his performances in the Champions League and La Liga under different managers at the Camp Nou.

Pep Guardiola’s time at Barcelona

Pep Guardiola’s reign at the Camp Nou coincided with the rise of Lionel Messi. As Barcelona were faltering, Messi gradually established himself as an important first team member. With Ronaldinho approaching the dusk of his spell at Barcelona, Messi was putting forward his case to take the team forward and that’s what he did.

Ronaldinho left in 2008, the year Guardiola took charge of Barcelona. During his four-year reign as the Barcelona manager, Guardiola led the Blaugrana to a stunning period of success which included three La Liga titles, two Copa del Rey wins and two Champions League triumphs.

Lionel Messi also experienced an extraordinary run of individual success during the same period, winning the Ballon d’Or four consecutive times between 2009 and 2012.

The record-breaking year of 2012

The 2011-12 season was Pep Guardiola’s last as a Barcelona manager and Lionel Messi rounded it off with 73 goals. The good start to the calendar year of 2012 meant the Argentine had a huge foundation laid out to wreak havoc in the coming months. Even though Guardiola left after the season, Messi began the 2012-13 campaign with a bang and ended it by scoring 91 goals in all competitions for Barcelona and Argentina in 2012.

Why Ten Hag’s claims are weak and Cristiano Ronaldo’s role in Messi’s ‘decline’

Since Pep Guardiola left, Barcelona have won the Champions League just once in eight seasons. It is widely considered that a team’s performance plays a major role in deciding the Ballon d’Or winners. Maybe that’s why Lionel Messi has won the prestigious award ‘only’ two times in that timeframe.

Also, it’s almost impossible not to mention Cristiano Ronaldo’s name when one talks about Lionel Messi and vice versa. Such has been their storied rivalry that the duo is always spoken about in the same breath such as tennis stars Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer.

Since Pep Guardiola left Barcelona, Ronaldo won the Ballon d’Or four out of seven times, and Real Madrid winning the Champions League four times hugely boosted his case.

Lionel Messi, who has won the La Liga Golden Boot and the European Golden Shoe for the past three seasons, has been in phenomenal form in the present campaign as well. Despite missing the early parts of the season through injuries, the 32-year-old currently tops the goalscorers’ list in La Liga, with 19 strikes to his name.

Do you agree with Erik ten Hag’s comments? Sound off below.

- Advertisement -

Do we often under-appreciate Andy Flower? What’s his legacy?

There's a hint of sadness in noting that Zimbabwe has never been a dominant power in world cricket. But nothing could be sadder than...

15 Highly Educated Cricketers Of All Time

Cricket is a game of passion and dedication. A sport in which one involves themselves in camps and practice since early childhood. Due to...

IPL 2018: The beautiful Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur

Being seated in the Sawai Mansingh stadium brings a different world, a world of difference away from the palpable excitement of watching truly India’s...

IPL 2018: Purple Cap Holders Over The Years

The Indian Premier League (IPL), like any other global T20s league,  has been a batsman's paradise. In the batsmen friendly format, bowlers have found...

What can be expected from the 2018 Azerbaijan Grand Prix?

Heat in the air and heat inside the car- that's been the story of the Azerbaijan Grand prix. As F1 parks itself at Baku...

How Come UFC Fighters Have Cauliflower Ears But Boxers Don’t?

The UFC has come a long way since its early days, wherein the fights seemed like modern-day gladiators due to its brutality and inconsistent...

Top 5 Left Wingers In The World, Based On 2019-20 Season

Owing to the fact that football has evolved a lot since its inception and the tactics have changed a lot, the role of wingers...

5 spinners who can be India’s potential finger-spinners

The Indian cricket team has always been proud of its ability to produce world-class batsmen and similarly potent spinners. Though in recent times, the...

Big change for India Women’s cricket as BCCI looks to finalise bowling coach soon

We are not even at the halfway stage of the 2018 cricketing season. It clearly seems there's no stopping India's women's cricket team. The...

The astonishing decline of Mario Balotelli

There was a time when Mario Balotelli was on top of the world.  The Italian talisman had scored two goals in the Euro 2012 semi-finals,...

Amid an unstoppable flow of runs, Smriti Mandhana tipped to get prestigious Arjuna Award

When the BCCI announced that free-hitting batswoman Smriti Mandhana would be awarded the Arjuna Award, there were more smiles than doubts. For Smriti Mandhana,...

Fresh fitness blow adds to woes for Mohammed Shami

Earlier this year, India fast bowler Mohammed Shami was the leading wicket-taker in South Africa and helped the national team to win a Test...

IPL 2018: The best from the West Indies

When one of nature's treacherous attacks on mankind- earthquakes- strike, their impact is measured on Richter's scale. When West Indians strike in a tournament...

Who Is the Better Formula 1 Racer, Max Verstappen or Lewis Hamilton?

Despite Verstappen’s first win in Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2021, a new debate has sparked on which Formula 1 racer is better? Max Verstappen...

Benfica XI if they didn’t sell their star players

SL Benfica, based in the city of Lisbon, Portugal have made a name for themselves by scouting, recruiting and then selling some of the...

- Advertisement -

- Advertisement -