Lionel Messi’s bizarre match tactic revealed by Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde
Ernesto Valverede has revealed the bizarre tactic Lionel Messi uses at the start of games.
The Argentinian forward is widely thought of as the best player on the planet.
But Messi apparently doesn’t look for the ball during the opening 10 minutes of a match.
That’s according to Valverde, who claims the Barca legend instead analyses the opposition defence so he can get to grips with how they will play.
The Nou Camp boss said says Messi “takes a reconnaissance walk” around the opposition’s defence.
Then, as the game advances, he gets in little by little,” he told the Financial Times.
“But he knows perfectly where the rivals’ weaknesses are.”
Barcelona get their La Liga campaign up and running against Athletic Bilbao this evening.
The Catalan club have not got the services of talisman Messi at their disposal after he was not named in the match-day squad.
The Argentine is still recovering from a calf injury and Valverde has urged caution over the 32-year-old’s condition.
“We won’t take risks, let alone with Messi,” Valverde said before the squad was announced.
“He has still not trained with the team and he hasn’t played.
“We will have to see how he is. Training alone is not the same as participating in a match.
“But his recovery is going well.”
It will be the first time in 10 years that Barca open their league campaign without the superstar talent.
Messi usually hits the ground running, scoring 14 goals in seven of those previous opening games.
But it gives an opportunity to Antoine Griezmann, who will be making his competitive debut, to star.