After denial comes shock, and then comes guilt. At least when it comes to the injuries Lionel Messi has been picking up at an alarming race. At his club, Barcelona, it seems there are three things left to be done: Support him until he returns, talk about how they’ll do well without him, and trying to find a single person who can be used to pin the blame on.
The truth? It’s impossible, and it doesn’t do anyone any good. There are probably half a dozen reasons why Messi has entered this vicious cycle of minor injuries, coming back to soon and re-injuring the same area, with the results getting worse and worse each time.
Tito Vilanova, no longer with the club, is a name some have mentioned. Using Messi in high paced game when he wasn’t fully fit late last season aggravated the injury, with these results still felt to this day. There are many who think Messi himself is the one to blame – his charity tour during the summer took an unnecessary toll on his body that needed rest, being a more vexing and punishing thing than attending a summer tournament like the World Cup or the Copa America.
There’s also Messi’s attitude, with some suggesting that his approach to training at Barcelona has been lacking because of the upcoming World Cup. Instead of keeping himself from harm, he hasn’t been working hard enough to keep himself healthy and fit for matches. Having a falling out with his holistic shadow, Juanjo Brau, which has led to a negative change in his diet might also be a big reason for Messi’s injury problems.
Sometimes there’s nothing you can do about it – players pick up injuries no matter what, but the way this issue has been mistreated over the last 7 months under the watchful eye of such a huge organization does call for some examining of how things are run at the club, and of whether or not Messi has too much freedom to do as he pleases. He’s not a 13 year old boy who needs a chaperone, but footballers aren’t usually that much more mature, and maybe trusting too much his own personal group instead of the men from the club has led to this situation.
It’s not the end of the world – far from it. Messi out for a month won’t make that much of a difference to Barcelona, or at least it shouldn’t. The most important thing to take from this is how to change his behavior and the club’s own policies so it doesn’t happen again.