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John Giles Highlights What 'Most Pundits' Overlook About Messi

John Giles Highlights What 'Most Pundits' Overlook About Messi
Arthur James O'Dea
By Arthur James O'Dea
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Quite often a tough taskmaster, even John Giles cannot bring himself to criticise Lionel Messi.

In fact, according to the former Leeds United man, Messi is "better than ever."

Speaking to Off the Ball of Barcelona's 4-1 (agg) victory against Chelsea in a midweek Champions League tie, Giles highlighted a facet of the Argentine's play that he believes many footballing analysts fail to adequately appreciate:

The genius about Messi, and I've talked about this a lot, is positional sense. You rarely see any of the analysts talking about positional sense.

Positional sense is 90% of the job actually.

Commending Messi for his determination to remain a team player despite being Barcelona's most obvious star for over a decade now, Giles believes that Messi's manipulation of a "limited amount of space" on the pitch raises the games of each of his teammates:

You see Messi, he doesn't stay up the pitch. He drifts back, but he drifts into the right positions all the time.

He's the link up. In other words, you don't have to be a great player in the Barcelona midfield to find Messi; he finds you.


Making a special exemption for the supremely talented Iniesta, Giles couldn't help but elabourate further on the special skills-set Messi possesses; "He plays the most effective ball in any given situation."

Interestingly, Giles later suggested that despite Messi's supreme talent, even he would struggle to make a similar impact in Jose Mourinho's Manchester United side.


Without the required standard of players around him to feed him a simple ball, it is a damning indictment of Mourinho's side.

Fortunately for us all, the former Ireland international believes things are only going to get better as far as Messi is concerned. Although he was at pains to suggest he was not remotely on the same level as Messi in his pomp, Giles believes that he played his best football in his early 30s.

With Messi turning 31-years-old in June, Giles is confident that the best is yet to come - if such a thing can be imagined.


See Also: Darren Randolph Might Hold The Key To Ireland's Goal-Scoring Woes


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