Who’s the most underrated player in the world? Is it Lionel Messi?
It seems a little ridiculous to suggest it, but it might be true. Messi has had an amazing season so far, and particularly, is going through an amazing run of form. But it’s not really headline news because, well, it’s not new. We’re very much used to this level. But maybe we should not be so used to it. Let’s take a second and appreciate it.
Messi’s last performance was a one-goal, one-assist effort as Barcelona defeated PSV Eindhoven 2-1. He scored this incredible goal:
Lionel Messi is unreal. What a goal vs PSV! pic.twitter.com/7SfowdLDxp— Harigovind Thoyakkat (@thoyakkatboy) November 29, 2018
Which came after this piece of mind-blowing skill vs Atlético Madrid:
Let's watch Messi's nutmeg on Filipe one more time... from all angles... yessssss— Luis Mazariegos (@luism8989) November 30, 2018
But it’s not just the moments of artistry or the golazos, it’s the consistency he is showing even as Barça in general are not necessarily playing at their best.
According to the stats site WhoScored, Messi has been man-of-the-match in all five of his previous matches except for the game against Sevilla in which he went off injured midway through the first half. The Argentine star has also notched at least a goal or an assist in his past 10 games. He also has 10 goals or assists in his previous six matches.
The #10 has gotten 10/10 ratings from the app SofaScore in every match he has played so far in the UCL. And in a more official capacity, he has been awarded the player of the week award from UEFA every week he has played in the UCL - 3 out of 3. The only weeks he has not won were because he was out due to injury.
Additionally, Messi has failed to get a goal or assist only twice this season in all competitions, and that’s including games where he played only a small part of the match. You can even stretch this run into last summer’s FIFA World Cup, where he got a goal and two assists, respectively, in his last two matches for Argentina.
The season is not even at the halfway point so we won’t know how it will all shake up, but for the moment, enjoy his brilliant form.