La Liga: Lionel Messi downplays his impact at Barcelona, says club 'isn't dependent on one player'
Lionel Messi's prodigious talent is matched by his startling humility, which he displayed by denying that Barcelona's fate is determined by his presence.
Lionel Messi's prodigious talent is matched by his startling humility, which he displayed again on Thursday by denying that Barcelona's fate is determined by his presence in the team.
The Argentina forward scored both goals in Barca's 2-0 Champions League win at Celtic on Wednesday, days after they had been held to a goalless draw at home to Malaga in Messi's absence.
Talk of Barcelona being overly dependent on their all-time record scorer is nothing new, although it has been less frequent in recent seasons as fellow forwards Luis Suarez and Neymar have also flourished.
"It's not like that," he said at an Adidas event in Barcelona.
"I'm in the best club in the world, it doesn't depend on one player. We have a great team and I don't think about that."
In Messi's eyes, tactical discipline and team structure are more important than individual talent.
"Everything starts with order," the 29-year-old said. "In today's football more than ever. You need a team that is organised, that knows how it has to move on the pitch. Order is the most important thing."
Messi's double strike helped Barca reach the Champions League's last 16 as Group C winners and allowed them to refocus on domestic duties, starting with a fixture against in form Real Sociedad on Sunday.
They then host Real Madrid in this season's first 'El Clasico' on 3 Dec.
Sociedad have won four games in a row and are fifth in the table while Barca are second and four points adrift of Real Madrid.
"It's going to be very demanding," Messi said. "Real Sociedad are playing very well and are high up in the standings."
While Messi has won everything he can with Barcelona, titles have eluded him with Argentina.
Their defeat on penalties against Chile in this year's Copa America marked their third straight final loss at a major tournament.
Messi, however, says he has learned to cope with disappointment on the international stage.
"One grows up as the years go by," the Argentina captain said. "You go through tough spells but in the end, you realise there are more important things than football, than winning and lifting titles.
"Obviously I like to win, I want to achieve the aims we set ourselves at the beginning of the season. But if you don't achieve it, at least you have to try."
Goals from Rodrigo De Paul and Lautaro Martinez rounded off a successful night for Lionel Scaloni's team in Buenos Aires as they maintained their unbeaten start to the qualification campaign
Messi lined up alongside Neymar, Mbappe and Angel Di Maria for just the second match, making only his second league start for PSG after missing two Ligue 1 games with a knee injury.
Messi and Ronaldo face competition that includes Kylian Mbappe, Neymar, Karim Benzema, Jorginho and N'Golo Kante who are also considered as leading runners in the list unveiled by France Football magazine.