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What Lionel Messi had to do for Rakitic v Bilbao shows how dependent Barcelona are on him

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When the name Barcelona is mentioned, the first thing that springs to most peoples minds is their talisman, Lionel Messi.

The Argentine superstar has redefined the game during his time in Catalonia and without him, they probably wouldn't have enjoyed half the success they have this millennium.

In the summer, Barca went through something of a transitional phase, with a new manager arriving in Ernesto Valverde and the loss of one of their key attackers, Neymar.

The Brazilian departed to Paris Saint-Germain in a €222m deal, leaving Messi and Luis Suarez to take on an even heavier work load in the attacking department.

Sadly for the Blaugrana, the latter has failed to accept his new responsibility, with Suarez enduring a dreadful campaign so far by his own lofty standards.

That leaves most of the burden at Messi's feet and so far, the king of Barcelona has matched it, scoring 12 La Liga goals already.

Against Athletic Bilbao on Saturday evening, he was at his brilliant best while the rest of his teammates struggled in the harsh Basque environment.

Messi scored the opening goal after virtually creating it for himself as well and every time the team done something positive going forward, he was at the centre of it.

You can watch his highlight reel below and it just proves that without their main man, this Barca side would be dangerously close to average.

VIDEO: MAGICAL MESSI SAVES BARCA

Yeah, he really is something special.

The likes of Andre Gomes and Ivan Rakitic were so below-par in midfield, leaving Messi to sometimes act as a deep-lying playmaker while also having to lead the line.

And, it was what he had to for the latter at one point in the match that officially summed up that he literally has to do everything on the pitch.

VIDEO: MESSI ORDERS RAKITIC AROUND

He literally has to instruct him to move to the correct position, poor Leo.

MARC-ANDRE TER STEGEN ALSO HELPS OUT

Ter Stegen was also pretty handy between the sticks, while Samuel Umtiti was also at his imperious best in defence.

That trio have been far and away Barca's best players this season and Valverde needs them to maintain their form if they are to win any silverware in 2017/18.

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Topics:
Football
Lionel Messi
Barcelona
Luis Suarez
Gerard Pique
La Liga
Andres Iniesta

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