AFP/File / Josep Lago Barcelona's Lionel Messi is a five-time World Player of the Year who has also won more than 100 caps for Argentina
AFP/File / Josep Lago Barcelona's Lionel Messi is a five-time World Player of the Year who has also won more than 100 caps for Argentina

Lionel Messi, due to his limited stamina and running ability, will find it hard to get a regular place in any European elite club if he leaves Barcelona, said a Chinese football pundit.

Zhang Lu, the former chief executive of Chinese top-flight club Beijing Guoan, said he in no way intended to devalue Messi as he was an avid admirer of the Argentinian player.

“I just want to state it as a matter of fact. Messi still has the superior skill, but simply lacks stamina and running ability, and that amounts to half a player less for any team with him,” the 69-year-old Chinese football TV pundit said.

“Though this half-player can flash spark of amazing genius sometimes during the match, he is absent for most of the time, thus undermining his team’s defense as a whole,” Zhang said.

“He has turned out ill-fitted for Barcelona, a side that aspires to prevail in the Spanish La Liga and the European Champions League, and probably he cannot find a place in any European big clubs,” he said.

Barcelona will enjoy a smoother rebuild without Messi, Zhang said.

Messi has informed Barcelona that he wanted out after spending nearly 20 years with the Spanish club.

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