Ronald Koeman has given the talismanic part of his plans a regular vacation for the past weeks. This approach is meant to keep the six-time Ballon d’Or winner fresh and firing for when you need it most.

Messi may soon disappear forever

Rivaldo was delighted to see Barcelona’s ease to a 4-1 victory over Dynamo Kyiv without Lionel Messi in their squad. With the Blaugrana legend warning that the Argentine superstar may soon disappear forever. Ronald Koeman has given the talismanic part of his plans a regular vacation for the past weeks. This approach is meant to keep the six-time Ballon d’Or winner fresh and firing for when you need it most. Messi’s absence also gives Barça a glimpse of what life might look like if the greats had to leave the Camp Nou all along. That could happen in 2021 when the South American superstar will be free to negotiate pre-contractual terms with interested parties from January when he heads towards free agency.

Barca must start learning how to win without Lionel Messi

Rivaldo has said in the past that he believes the 33-year-old legend can be persuaded to stay put. But the Brazilian has recently changed his tune and now fears a parting of ways could end up on the cards. With that in mind, he says Barça must start learning how to win without looking at their inspiring captain for moments of match-changing brilliance “Barcelona earned a good Champions League away win in Ukraine with a solid performance despite Lionel Messi’s absence, and that is good news for the group,” Rivaldo told reporters. “The team played a better match against Dynamo Kyiv this time than when they hosted them at the Camp Nou. So it was a positive result and performance for two reasons: Messi managed to rest after international commitments. And other players like Antoine Griezmann, or Martin Braithwaite had a chance to perform.

“In other parts of the season – and possibly next season – Messi may not be around. And other players will need to show up. So it’s good for the team to get used to it and gain some confidence without their main star on the pitch. Naturally, I am sure that Ronald Koeman only left Messi from this game to take a break from him. Because it was not a decisive match as Barcelona were almost qualified. If I were Barcelona’s manager, I would like Messi to be on the field all the time”. Speculation continues to suggest that Manchester City could make an approach for Messi in the New Year. With former Barça boss, Pep Guardiola committing to a new deal at Etihad Stadium.