ARTICLE SOURCE: MY OPINION
He was in the starting lineup last night against Lyon but failed to make an impact, with his only chance coming in the first half when his 25-yard free-kick struck the angle post.
Pochettino then substituted him in the 76th minute, the Argentine legend looking dejected as he walked past the coach. The coach made an excellent decision because he was performing poorly in the contest.
When compared to the talismanic Messi everyone idolized at FC Barcelona, Messi appeared depleted of confidence, pace, and brilliance in his three appearances for the French side.
Is it possible that the club's expectations are weighing him down? Of course, he should have expected that nothing comes for free, and that if he doesn't start scoring soon, he will be ridiculed even by Parisian fans.
To make matters worse, he squandered close-range opportunities on more than two occasions during their Champions League match against Club Brugge, with another miss last night.
The choice by the coach not to let him take the penalty kick against Lyon was brilliant. Based on his body movements last night, there's a chance he missed the spot-kick, which would have added to his concerns. Messi is struggling with his confidence, and he may end up being a flop sooner or later.
In the English Premier League and European competitions, Cristiano Ronaldo, on the other hand, is scoring for the sheer joy of it. He rarely misses a chance and scores goals with only three or four touches.
For a player his age, his positioning and ball-handling skills are unrivaled in Europe's five major leagues. With his current form, the all-time international top scorer could score 30 goals or more for the Red Devils this season across all competitions.
He's in one of his best seasons, and he's already delivering on his vow to not come to Manchester United for a "holiday," but to score goals. In three appearances for the club, he has scored four goals in all competitions.
His first two goals came against Newcastle United on his second debut, his third goal came in the UEFA Champions League, and his most recent goal came against West Ham United yesterday. He's already in the running for the EPL Player of the Month title, as well as the prize for the league's first 10 goals.
He had previously matched Lionel Messi's UEFA Champions League record of scoring against 36 different teams, and he added to his tally of scoring at 66 different venues in his career, surpassing Ibrahimovic's 64.
Cristiano Ronaldo is already on a quest with Manchester United to win championships and become the finest player in the world, while Lionel Messi is still figuring out his way around Paris.
With Cristiano Ronaldo in such excellent form, Leo Messi will find it exceedingly tough to keep up, let alone outshine the Portuguese international. To accomplish such a feat, he will have to go beyond magic.
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