Barcelona's season has been transformed since Lionel Messi returned from injury

SD Eibar SAD v FC Barcelona  - La Liga

Lionel Messi endured a difficult start to the season after he was forced to sit out of Barcelona’s opening four La Liga games through injury.

He then came off the bench against Granada before clinching a starting spot against Villarreal three days later but he was plagued by injury again, cutting his time on the pitch short.

After missing their trip to Getafe, Messi recorded his first 90 minutes of the season against Inter Milan in the Champions League before playing the full game in Barca’s next two league fixtures.

And it’s safe to say the Argentine’s return to the starting line-up has proved to be a welcomed one for his side.

That’s because Barca found themselves seventh in the league with a 40% win rate after accumulating 1.4 points per game before Messi started a La Liga game this season.

However, the tables completely turned when he was thrown in from the off.

Since starting his first league fixture this season, Barca have shot up to the top of the pile after clinching three points per game, holding a 100% record.

The European giants had only won twice out of their first five league games before Messi was thrown back into the starting 11 against Villarreal just under a month ago.

SD Eibar SAD v FC Barcelona  - La Liga

Despite going off injured, his side won 2-1 at Camp Nou before they beat Getafe 2-0 on their travels four days later although Messi was forced to sit the game out.

However, the striker netted twice in Barca’s next two games as they rose to top spot with 4-0 and 3-0 wins over Sevilla and Eibar respectively.

Barcelona’s season has turned a corner and it’s all down to their star man.

Attentions now turn to the Champions League as Barca travel to Slavia Prague before returning to league action at home to Valladolid under a week later.

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