Lionel Messi has been Barcelona’s most important player in the Quique Setién era, and it’s not even close. The Argentine has scored or assisted 23 of the 29 goals (not counting own goals) the Catalans have scored in La Liga since the manager took over for Ernesto Valverde. That means 79% of Barcelona’s goals in that time have been either scored or assisted by Messi.
In 17 games, Messi has provided 15 assists and scored 8 goals. Sergi Roberto, Arthur, Arturo Vidal, Luis Suárez, and Ansu Fati (twice) are the only Barcelona players besides Messi to have scored in this time without being assisted by Messi in the process.
Barcelona won their first game under Setién 1-0, with Vidal assisting Messi for the winner. They then lost to Valencia, 2-0. Afterwards, Messi assisted Fati twice in a 2-1 win over Levante, and then got a hat trick of assists in a 3-2 win over Real Betis. Messi assisted the opener against Getafe, and then Junior Firpo assisted Roberto in a 2-1 win.
Messi scored the first four goals against Eibar, and then Arthur tapped in a goalkeeper save to make it 5-0. Barcelona then lost to Real Madrid 2-0, and then won 1-0 against Real Sociedad via a Messi penalty.
Arturo Vidal scored from a Jordi Alba cross to open up the scoring against Mallorca, after the coronavirus break ended. Then, Messi assisted Martin Braithwaite and Alba, before scoring the last goal himself in a 4-0 win.
Firpo assisted Fati to open up the scoring against Leganés, then Messi scored the other goal in a 2-0 victory. After a 0-0 with Sevilla, Messi assisted Ivan Rakitić’s winner against Athletic Bilbao.
Messi assisted both of Suárez’s goals against Celta Vigo in a 2-2 draw, then scored a penalty against Atlético Madrid. That last one ended 2-2, with Diego Costa scoring an own goal.
Pau Torres also got an own goal when Barcelona played against Villarreal, and then Messi got two assists before Fati got the last goal in a 4-1 win. That Fati goal came after a pass from Alba, although the youngster dribbled quite a bit before shooting.
Suárez got the only goal in the 1-0 win that sent Espanyol down, tapping in a rebound the goalkeeper gave up. It was business as usual against Real Valladolid, with Messi assisting the only goal in a 1-0 victory.