Lionel Messi proves emphatically with his staggering stats in 2021 that anyone who thought he was past it is wrong.

The Barcelona superstar was then written off at the beginning of the season for his misfortune when the club struggled on the pitch.

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Messi was at his best in 2021, smiling a lot more

We all know the story. He wanted to leave, the club wouldn’t let him and he reluctantly stayed for at least another season.

What it has proven is that maybe Messi is human after all and these outside influences really had an impact on his game.

He scored just ten goals and made one assist in the first 18 games of the season, a series of games that included losses to Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid.

With that, Barcelona were far from the pace in LaLiga and Atletico seemed to be running away with the title.

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Messi now holds the record for most appearances ever in Barcelona

But things have changed. Josep Maria Bartomeu, someone who caused most of Messi’s frustrations, stepped down as club president and was replaced by Joan Laporta in March.

And since the beginning of the year, Messi has been in a remarkably hot phase that has drawn Barcelona back into the title race.

He has scored 15 goals in just 12 games and added seven assists by 2021. Incredible numbers, even by his standards.

On Sunday he broke Xavi’s record in all appearances, stepped out for the 767th time for the club and scored twice.

What a move that was for Messi’s second goal! ?

Vintage Barcelona one night when they met Real Sociedad hit for six pic.twitter.com/VVV2kcLTsv

– Premier Sports @ (@PremierSportsTV) March 21, 2021

Messi has also been involved in a goal or assisted in each of his last 14 La Liga games in a run that dates back to December. In the first six games of the league season, he managed only one.

Barca are the form team in LaLiga that haven’t lost in the league since losing 2-1 to Cadiz in December.

Ronald Koeman’s team are only four points ahead of Atletico Madrid, ten games to go.

Lionel Messi’s improved form

Statistics 2020

Games: 44

Goals: 26

Assists: 19

2021 statistics

Games: 12

Goals: 15

Assists: 7

They still have to play against both Madrid teams but if they can break the deficit it would be probably one of the most notable title wins in the club’s history.

Despite being eliminated from the Champions League, the Copa del Rey final against Athletic Bilbao is next month.

The club has been embroiled in problems this season resulting from the president’s crisis, debt, and arrests over the Barcagate scandal.

Messi appears happier than at the Catalan club and choosing Laporta has undoubtedly increased the chances of him staying.

Laporta thinks he can make Messi stay

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Laporta thinks he can make Messi stay

Barcelona’s key games

Real Madrid (A) – April 10th

Athletic Bilbao (Copa del Rey final) – April 17th

Villarreal (a) – April 25th

Atletico Madrid (h) – May 9th

Laporta said last week, “I’m here to make decisions like convince Leo to move on and take advantage of the fact that he’s here. He knows it.

“You know the affection I have for you and we will do everything we can to keep you here. You know you can’t go, Leo.

“We won’t be able to do it alone. As our anthem says, we are all strong together. Even more so in these most difficult times. We know how to do it.

“When the pandemic is over, our revenues will return. That will be fixed. There will be strong leadership because I am well accompanied. We will make choices.

“To defend the club you have to live and breathe and we do that as often as possible.”

Messi has already scored 15 goals in 2021

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Messi has already scored 15 goals in 2021

Koeman has also made public his wish for Messi to stay, and so told Sporty in February: “It was a difficult time because he’s still the best player, but he was angry.

“He wasn’t happy that he was in a team that lost 8-2 to Bayern Munich.

“He wanted to go. I said to the club, “Okay, that’s not my problem. It’s a problem between the club and Leo Messi. And you have to solve that ‘.

“Finally the club said, ‘Okay, we’re not doing a transfer for him. He has to stay ‘. It was a difficult time for Leo, but he eventually accepted it [the situation].

“I spoke to him at his house before we started the season and I made plans with him and he was really excited. Eventually he gradually accepted this situation. “

Barcelona fans want him to stay and he shows once again that even at 33 he has a lot more to give.