How Luis Enrique changed Lionel Messi's position at Barcelona

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Barcelona's season looks to have sparked back into life recently, and while they look to be on their way out of the Champions League, they remain in the hunt for a domestic league and cup double.

As it stands, Barca have leapfrogged Real Madrid back to the top of the La Liga table, though Los Blancos still have a game in hand, and fans will have noticed that Messi had initially been struggling under Enrique's 3-4-3 formation.

Messi had been based on the right hand side of their front three, and frequently dropped deeper than normal in order to collect the ball.

But recently, Enrique has moved Messi to vacate the position on the right to Rafinha, and has instead installed the Argentinian as the side's most advanced midfielder.

According to Marca, the move has put the 29-year-old at the attacking tip of a midfield diamond, allowing him to direct the game from just behind central striker Luis Suarez.

This has given Messi more of a free role in order drift out to his favoured right flank while still allowing him to move to the left when needed.

Messi had made a real impact through the middle under Pep Guardiola, where he revolutionised the 'false 9' role. This meant that he predominantly played as a striker from a deeper position, and even when he did drop back it didn't hamper his chances of notching up 50 goals a season.

But now that Luis Suarez is in the team, Barca have had to find a new position for him in order to be able to thrive alongside a more typical centre forward.

Alongside Suarez and Neymar, they formed the impressive MSN partnership, but the system allowed the opposition to suss them out too easily and it prompted Enrique to switch from a standard 4-3-3 to a more flexible 3-4-3.

The Catalan giants will be hoping that the new system will be in full flow against Paris Saint Germain this week as their Champions League hopes hang dangerously in the balance.

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