Lionell Messi at it again
Barcelona's third goal against Deportivo on Sunday started very deep, with lots of passes and movement off the ball, and Messi was at the heart of it. It was a glimpse of what he might be like in a few years, when the pace is gone but he still has the vision. Right now, though, he still has both.
Ernesto Valverde agreed to play him in the centre soon after his arrival at the club. It has affected Luis Suarez, who can't find as much space as in previous seasons, but it has allowed Messi to be even more influential, switching between playing as an attacking midfielder or as a forward.
He has got the intelligence for both roles and that is what sets him apart. He has been dropping deep and doing the job of Andres Iniesta at times, and yet he has still scored 14 goals in La Liga alone. He is the ultimate forward and we've seen that this season.
As well as scoring plenty of goals, he has hit the woodwork 12 times – seven more than any other player. It shows two things. One, that luck is not always on his side. And two, that he is still shooting more than anyone else despite sometimes doing the job of a No 10 or central midfielder.
Who in the world does that? There's nobody else. I get amazed when people still question whether he is well ahead of everybody else in the world. It's up to Madrid to stop him in Saturday's game.