Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 19 April 2014

Why we all miss Messi

Lionel Messi was missed by Barcelona against Celtic

After Celtic's 1-0 defeat to Barcelona, much of the debate surrounded Scott Brown's stupid sending off, which cost his side at least a draw, and the part Brazilian Neymar played in it.

That glossed over just how lacklustre Barcelona were in attack without the great Lionel Messi.

Of course Barca were going to miss the finest footballer of them all, but THAT much? Celtic goalkeeper Fraser Forster had so little to do in the first hour he could have rung up his ex-girlfriend Leah Totten (yes, The Apprentice winner from here) for a chat about Lord Sugar.

Only when Brown was red carded did Barca, for all their possession, present a goalscoring threat.

Since bursting on to the scene in Spain, Messi has rarely been injured but he's started to pick up knocks and muscle strains that have kept him on the sidelines.

I fear more will follow. Bad news for Barcelona – and football.