Barcelona is no one-man club because of Lionel Messi – Tito Vilanova
Over the years, Lionel Messi has outshone everyone at Barcelona, which includes a long listed of world class players including Xavi Hernandez, Andres Iniesta, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Thierry Henry, Samuel Eto’o, Alexis Sanchez, David Villa, etc. Due to this many see Barcelona as a one-man side.
Truth be told, it is Lionel Messi who often bails out Barcelona when the Spanish football giants are in trouble. However, the new boss of Camp Nou, Tito Vilanova believes his Catalan side are much more than one-man club.
Tito Vilanova rubbished suggestions that Barcelona were heavily dependent on Lionel Messi, who scored twice in Barcelona’s 3-1 victory over Real Zaragoza on Saturday.
The 25-year-old Argentina international has now scored 22 goals in all competitions this season. Lionel Messi first struck in 16th minute of the game before assisting summer signing Alex Song to score his first goal for Barcelona. The Argentinean football prodigy then sealed Barcelona’s victory with his second goal at the hour mark.
Lionel Messi, who earlier broke Pele’s 75-goal record for a calendar year, is now just a couple of goals shy from breaking Gerd Muller’s all-time record of 85 goals in a calendar year.
Tito Vilanova admits Lionel Messi’s contributions have been pivotal to Barcelona’s success, but if the clock was running down it won’t always be upon Lionel Messi to save the world.
“It's no great revelation to say that Messi is decisive, but Leo doesn't win games by himself,” Tito Vilanova said. “You have to create chances, know how to defend... It's too simplistic to say Barca is just Messi. Leo is very good but we need all the players because only one cannot win a game.”
Barcelona lined up against Real Zaragoza having earned 34 points from a possible 36 in La Liga his season. Their victory ensured another three points and a three-point lead over second-placed Atletico Madrid, who later grabbed a 1-0 victory over Granada on Sunday.
“Whenever we have a match, I always think we can win it, but the truth is that winning 11 games in a row is a great run. The team is where it is this season because the players are hungry to win,” Tito Vilanova continued.
Tito Vilanova was happy to have Gerard Pique and Carles Puyol back in his squad. Gerard Pique and Carles Puyol haven’t played together since April having suffered injuries.
“Having [Carles] Puyol and [Gerard] Pique back makes a big difference,” Tito Vilanova added. “(Javier) Mascherano had played too many games in a row. They'll really help us.”