Rivaldo offers his view of Barca and Messi

    Rivaldo has warned Barcelona they must start preparing themselves for life after Lionel Messi

    Messi’s commitment to the shirt he is wearing is open for interpretation. But, it’s obvious that the six-time Ballon d’Or winner has not been as near decisive as he used to be in the previous years.

    Everything that had happened during the summer has influenced the Argentine’s performance. The altercation between the 33-year-old and the club management was making headlines throughout the entire off-season period.

    Josep Maria Bartomeu has resigned from the presidential seat. However, Messi’s fractious relationship with the club remains the elephant in the room.

    It’s still unclear whether or not the new board would be able to persuade La Pulga to commit his future to Camp Nou. With his contract expiring at the end of the season, the Blaugrana are running out of time.

    The Catalan giants are operating on a tight schedule, trying to convince one of the greatest of all time to extend his stay at the club.

    And while there are some like Gerard Pique, who is not giving up hope his old comrade could be talked into staying, others, like Rivaldo, have a different point of view.

    The Brazilian legend is keen to see how Barcelona will perform once Messi is out of the picture. Let’s face it – that scenario will happen, sooner or later.

    In the absence of their headline performer, Ronald Koeman’s men thumped Dynamo Kyiv 4-0 in the Champions League last Tuesday. It was a refreshing experience for all Barca fans to see their side performing well without Messi.

    Rivaldo, who wore the Barcelona jersey between 1997 and 2002, was also excited to see the likes of Antoine Griezmann and Martin Braithwaite stepping up in the absence of their captain.

    “The team played a better match against Dynamo Kyiv this time than when they hosted them at Camp Nou, so it was a result and performance positive for two reasons,” he told Betfair. “Messi managed to rest after international commitments, and other players like Antoine Griezmann or Martin Braithwaite had the chance to step up.

    “In other parts of the season – and probably next season – Messi might not be around, and other players will need to show up, so it’s good for the team to start getting used to it and at the same time gain some confidence for themselves without their main star on the pitch.”

    “Naturally, I’m sure Ronald Koeman only left Messi out of this game to rest him because it wasn’t a decisive match as Barcelona had almost qualified. If I was a Barcelona manager, I would like to have Messi on the pitch all the time.”

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