Life without Neymar appears to be going well for Barcelona.
The Catalan giants are flying high in the La Liga, sitting at the summit of the league, and a massive 16 (!!) points clear of defending champions, Real Madrid.
While advancing to the next round of the Champions League, not to mention booking a spot in the Copa del Rey final.
Messi celebrates with Ivan Rakitic. Image: PA
This campaign, Lionel Messi has already weighed in with an incredible 27 goals. And that’s without the services of Neymar who left Barcelona for Paris Saint-Germain in a world record transfer during the summer.
And the Argentine maestro feels the side are ‘more balanced’ without the brilliant Brazilian.
“Without Neymar we are more balanced,” the Barcelona ace told Mirror.
Neymar and Messi celebrate back in the day. Image: PA
Following the departure of Neymar for a reported £198 million, Ernesto Valverde subsequently changed the teams set-up.
“His departure led to a change in the way we play,” Messi added.
Coutinho enters the Camp Nou. Image: PA
Coutinho wheels away in celebration after opening his Barcelona account. Image: PA
Messi added: “We have lost a lot of our offensive potential but we have improved in defence. We have more balance and this allows us to be more solid.
Though Neymar’s new side are certainly benefiting from his attacking prowess.
PSG’s lethal No.10. Image: PA
Just like Barcelona, PSG are comfortably top of the league while securing a spot in the next round of the Champions League – albeit against Real Madrid.
And Neymar is scoring freely in France, bagging 19 league goals from just 18 matches.