Catalan concern: Lionel Messi’s open-play goal drought suggests Barcelona’s off-field problems are manifesting on the pitch

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Messi converted his penalty to give Barca the lead. © AFP
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I think less and less about scoring goals. I’m starting to step back more and more to be the creator rather than the one who finishes,” Messi said earlier this year.

Obviously I like scoring, and if I have a chance I’ll take it, but every time I go on to the pitch I’m less focused on scoring goals and more focused on the game. I’ve never been obsessed with goals. 

I understand that people will talk about it when I stop scoring, so many, but that’s part of the game, part of growing as a player and adapting to the times, to be the best player both for yourself and for the team.”

Lionel Messi may not have left Barcelona, but did his goals?