If you thought Barcelona were bound to struggle this season after losing Neymar to PSG in the summer and comfortably falling to Real Madrid in the Super Cup, you would be wrong.
The Catalan side sit at the top of La Liga and are unbeaten thus far with Lionel Messi starring as per usual.
The Argentinian superstar has scored 16 times in 15 games so far this campaign and it seems that finishing second to Cristiano Ronaldo in FIFA’s The Best award hasn’t hurt his confidence one little bit.
The magician was at it again on Saturday evening when Barca took on Athletic Bilbao.
Messi gave the league leaders a 1-0 lead against their Basque opponents, but it was far from a typical Messi masterclass, this was vintage Barcelona and the ultimate team goal.
It took Barca until the 37th minute to take the lead, but they had played several bits of good football beforehand that saw Messi hit the post and former Tottenham flop Paulinho rattle the bar.
However, as you can see from the video below, Barca turned on some devastating one-touch football to breeze through the Atheltic defence. Simply sublime:
Many believed that the Blaugrana wouldn’t be the same side after Neymar made his world record £198 million move to France, especially after he was replaced by French wonderkid Ousmane Dembele who got a serious injury after only a couple of games.
Following the FIFA awards earlier this week in London, the departed Neymar revealed what he said to Messi before he left the Nou Camp.
“I spoke to Bartomeu in a normal fashion,” Neymar revealed to Radio Marca. “[Messi and I] didn’t speak about football, only other things.
“He is my friend and wherever we are, we will be together.”
The two have remained friends, even in spite of the rumours that Neymar felt he had to leave to get out of Messi’s shadow, but it cannot be denied that Messi has seemed to thrive with even more responsibility.