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On Fire: Why Lionel Messi Is Back to Classic Form

The Argentine magician is back to his game, what's the reason?

Messi's first season in Paris was far from positive. The Argentine failed to respond in important moments and barely added assists in matches where his team won comfortably. Far from his best level, the Argentine was not included among the 30 finalists to win the Ballon d'Or.

Everything seems to have changed in 2022/23, with Messi having had a great preseason, looking good in terms of mood and once again proving his worth with his play.

The Argentine star is dribbling, hitting beautiful long passes from any area of the field, connecting wonderfully with Neymar and Mbappé, and leaving good stats so far this season: 4 goals and 7 assists in 9 games (all competitions).

What has changed for Messi this season? We take a look at this new version of the Argentine magician.

New Role

The days of Messi taking the ball from the left flank and entering the box to shoot are long gone. More than ever, the Argentine star is showing his attacking midfielder side, connecting the midfield with the attacking line, formed by Kylian Mbappé and Neymar.

It has become routine to see Messi dropping into midfield to play the ball with Verratti and Vitinha, and it is from there that the Parisian play begins. Every dangerous action passes through the feet of Messi, who this season has taken on a new role, less offensive but just as significant.

Manager Christophe Galtier's new system is based on a 3-4-1-2 formation, with Lionel Messi as the "1". With a defensive trio of Ramos, Marqinhos and Kimpembe, supported by two midfielders and two wing backs, the team offers the best structure for the three different ones, Messi, Neymar and Mbappé, to not have to run after the ball, but concentrate on playing in the offensive phase.

So far this season, Messi has already reached the mark of 30 successful dribbles, followed by Jude Bellingham with 19. We are witnessing this new "Lio" dribbler in the midfield and not so much in the final third of the pitch.

The Argentine is currently the top assist man in Ligue 1, providing seven goal passes in seven games. This new version 2.0 of Messi has put the previous poor campaign behind him.

World Cup is near

Messi's whole thought is on becoming a world champion with Argentina in Qatar, his ultimate dream as a pro football player.

Argentina broke a 28-year streak without winning a title after capturing the Copa America, and months later, they destroyed Italy to win "La Finalissima", their second trophy in consecutive years.

Messi's sole focus is on getting to Qatar as in form as possible.The team coached by Scaloni has good players, harmony in the locker room, and a clear system of play. If the Argentine "10" performs his magic, we will probably see the "Albiceleste" as world champions in December.

Qatar 2022 is giving Messi extra motivation to be in shape, and the Argentine star wants to reach the World Cup in the best possible form. We do not know if this will be his last tournament. What is certain is that at the age of 35 he could be saying goodbye to the World Cup, and he wants to leave as a champion.