Can Luis Suarez co-exist in the same team with Messi and Neymar?
It’s hard to wrap your head around the money that is being spent in soccer these days. We have reached the point that no one seems to make it that big of a deal if €100 million are spent in one player and that doesn’t even include the players salary. Barcelona took a big gamble on Luis Suarez spending €94 million ($128 million) to get him to wear their jersey this season. Liverpool lost a great player, but by selling him they netted a record sum of money in their bank account.
Barcelona is not the only team dropping crazy money on players. Just look at Real Madrid! After securing Gareth Bale last season, this year they signed James Rodriguez after witnessing his phenomenal World Cup performance. On the flip side, how can you blame a team like Real Madrid for dropping €80 million for the Columbian striker when Real sold 345.000 jerseys with his name in just 48 hours. That’s insanely good business. Before the season even starts, just by selling jerseys with his name he will be paid off.
But the real question is: can these mega players co-exist in teams with lots of stars where everybody fights for dominance because they have to justify their hefty price tags? If you don’t justify it, it’s very difficult to handle the scrutiny from the press knowing that we live in this era where the press with their criticism will crush you before the coach himself gets to talk to the player.
Real continue to do good business with players, and the last season paid off for them because they won the Champions League. But I am really concerned with Barcelona. Suarez aside, their new signing so far were less impressing. Many soccer experts warned Barcelona of having to many “leaders” in the team. They have players like Messi and Neymar who are individually very good, and on top of that they add Luis Suarez. Now, all of them have to share the spot light and I am very skeptical it will work out.
Barcelona had to sell Zlatan Ibrahimovic because having Messi as a leader, there wasn’t space for another one. Barcelona this year sold Alexis Sanchez as well, another leader! He was a leader in his team at Udinese in Italy and we saw his leadership qualities with Chile during the Word Cup. Same goes for Suarez at Liverpool. Their entire game was based around him and when he plays for Barcelona he will understand that everybody there plays around Messi. Real this year didn’t have that problem because both Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez understood that they will never be able to top Ronaldo and they were OK with it.
The only bet that I could think Barca made was the decline in Messi’s form. If truly Messi’s best days are behind him and he is expected to follow the paths of Ronaldinho, then his spot will be open and Barca will have two options to replace him. In all honesty, I think Barca should should sell their star Messi (just like Liverpool did with Suarez) and capitalize on him while they still have the potential to make him the most expensive transfer in history. Maybe it’s time to re-infuse the team with new talent and with the money they would get from Messi’s sale, they can certainly do that.