‘Barcelona players must adapt to Messi’: Frenkie de Jong insists that LaLiga teammates must use the Argentine’s strengths to allow him to ‘make a difference’ in SIX open-scoring games
- Frenkie de Jong believes that his teammate Messi is still “the best player in the world”
- He says the Barcelona team needs to give him the ball in the right areas
- Barça is currently playing in a 4-2-3-1 system under new coach Ronald Koeman
- Koeman previously admitted that Messi’s current performance could be better
Frenkie de Jong believes that Lionel Messi is still “the best player in the world” and that it is up to his teammates at Barcelona to play with the Argentine’s strengths.
Messi has struggled to settle with Barça coach Ronald Koeman – who introduced the 4-2-3-1 system – having scored just twice in the Catalans’ first six games this season.
De Jong believes that Messi, who was the club’s top scorer last season with 31 goals in all competitions, will be able to thrive if his teammates manage to give him the ball in the right ‘positions’.
Frenkie de Jong believes that his teammate Lionel Messi (above) is still the best player in the world
De Jong (above) says the Barcelona team needs to give Messi the ball in the right areas
“When you have Messi on your team, of course you have the best player in the world on your team,” he told UEFA.com.
‘You try to put him in the best positions to make a difference and I think we need to adapt to him. When he is getting the ball in a position where he can make a difference, he will do it for you, always. ‘
Koeman previously admitted that Messi has been struggling to perform well this season, but helped him get back to his best soon, despite a slow start to the season.
“Perhaps at the moment, Messi’s performance could be better,” said Koeman.
‘But he is happy, he is working hard and wants to be the captain. I don’t have a single complaint.
“He was also unlucky. He hit the post (in the 1-0 loss to Getafe) and the next day.
‘I have no doubts about his performance and we will see him (at his best) in the next games, I am sure.’
Barça is currently playing in a 4-2-3-1 system under new coach Ronald Koeman (top right)
De Jong found his way with Koeman – completing dribbling more successfully this season
De Jong fought during his debut campaign at Barcelona, but has since risen under Koeman.
The Dutch international was placed alongside Sergio Busquets in his favorite position and has been presenting good statistics ever since.
He has an average of more successful dribbling in the 2020-2021 campaign (2.45) compared to last season (1.95).
Speaking of his form, he said: ‘I think of my nature as a player, I want to receive the ball at the beginning of the game and prepare the game.
‘I think this is more my style of play than waiting for the ball and receiving it up front and touching the ball less.
‘I think I feel more comfortable in the pivot position than high in the front, but I can also play high in the front.
‘It doesn’t matter much to me, but if I had to choose, I would rather play as a double pivot than, for example, as a’ mediapunta ‘(false nine).’