The Basque coach put an end to the fact that Barcelona can play more like a team without the 33-year-old.

Barcelona without Messi is more dangerous as a team

Eibar will take on a Barcelona side without Lionel Messi on Tuesday night, but José Luis Mendilibar remains wary of the threat the Blaugrana pose. The Basque coach put an end to the fact that Barcelona can play more like a team without the 33-year-old. “It is good news because he is the best player in the world,” Mendilibar said of Messi’s absence. “But that could lead to other players having more freedom and playing more as a team”. Mendilibar pointed to Barcelona’s 3-0 away win at Real Valladolid as a reason to be careful. “It may be the most average Barcelona in recent years, but in the last game against Valladolid they played very well,” he admitted. “They moved the ball at speed and won easily, created a lot of chances and hardly conceded any chances.”

“They played with three centre backs and two wing-backs on the outside, with great speed and they did a lot of damage. When they lost the ball, they sprinted to get it back, and that’s important. It’s important to catch them off guard when we rob the ball”. Eibar has delivered an impressive performance against Real Madrid in their penultimate game before the Christmas break, and Mendilibar wants more. “We competed well against Real Madrid in a very intense match. But then we noticed it against Alaves in a game Eibar lost 2-1,” he stated. “The goal is to play a match like that one.”