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How important is Messi to Barcelona?

Five Aside

Messi absence means Nolito interest makes sense from Barcelona

The ESPN FC crew look at the impact Lionel Messi's injury has had on Barcelona.

Although Barcelona would prefer to be leading La Liga -- they're fourth, one point behind leaders Villarreal -- during international break, their chances of repeating their historical treble-winning season remain intact.

However, there is a general sense of pessimism in the streets of the Catalan capital. The never-ending string of injuries that has affected 14 members of the first team squad since September, including key players such as Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta or Rafinha, has forced Luis...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Dirk Kuyt may be Barca's next Henrik Larsson, Gotze wants Bayern stay

A selection of some of Jurgen Klopp's most hilarious press conference moments, which he will certainly bring to the Premier League.
Could Feyenoord's Dirk Kuyt be the next Henrik Larsson for Barcelona?

The transfer window might be closed, but the rumours keep ticking. As always, Transfer Talk has the latest and greatest. See all the summer deals right here.

TOP STORY: Dirk Kuyt heading to Barcelona?!

This isn't a misprint. According to Catalan outlet Sport, former Liverpool fan favourite Dirk Kuyt is a serious target for Luis Enrique's Barcelona. The publication reports that the club are looking for reasonable veteran options to provide some depth in the attack.

The report also mentions...

Four key areas of Barcelona's minor 'crisis' that Luis Enrique must address

ESPN FC's Alejandro Moreno explains where Barcelona's vulnerabilities lie following their 2-1 loss at Sevilla.

It's a useful litmus test as to how things stand at FC Barcelona when you hear Luis Enrique release a huge sigh of welcome at the arrival of the international break.

Many coaches and players yearn for it. At smaller, less-successful clubs, it's a chance for a mini-holiday. Players get to muck around, spend time with their families, meet sponsorship commitments (aka make more money), and there's a regular European exodus for four or five days to the beaches of Doha.

At the largest, most successful...

 By Chris Wright

Barcelona's Camp Nou lies in ruin in new film

After Saturday's defeat at Sevilla left Barcelona languishing way down in fourth place in the La Liga table, there has been plenty of early-season pessimism emanating from certain quarters of Catalonia of late.

Indeed, it would seem that even the club's official website has joined in with the doom-mongering, having posted a video showing their Camp Nou stadium being reduced to a pile of decimated, post-apocalyptic wreckage.

Thankfully, the clip is actually just a scene from a new movie called "Segon...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Cristiano Ronaldo cannot increase goal advantage over Lionel Messi

With Lionel Messi still out with an injury and La Liga points up for grabs, Cristiano Ronaldo still hasn't been able to help Real Madrid fully take advantage of a floundering Barcelona.
ESPN FC's Alejandro Moreno shares his insight on Real Madrid's performance against Atletico Madrid.
ESPN FC's Alejandro Moreno explains where Barcelona's vulnerabilities lie following their 2-1 loss at Sevilla.

Each week, ESPN FC projects and reviews the scoring battle between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. We'll keep tabs on their game-by-game battle for La Liga supremacy.

Current goals total in La Liga: Ronaldo 5-3 Messi

With Lionel Messi sidelined by injury, Barcelona struggled and lose 2-1 at Sevilla. Meanwhile, Cristiano Ronaldo had an opportunity to pull away from his great rival in the goalscoring stakes. However, he was unable to cash in.

Ronaldo managed six shots in Real...

 By Lee Roden

Luis Enrique and Barcelona take on media amid tough La Liga start

ESPN FC's Alejandro Moreno explains where Barcelona's vulnerabilities lie following their 2-1 loss at Sevilla.

Barcelona lost the battle against Sevilla on Saturday, and amid the backdrop of a 2-1 defeat comes another scrap that centres on the club and the local journalists that cover it.

The trip to Andalucia at the weekend marked the first time in years that local media did not travel with the team on their chartered flight, the club no longer permitting them to do so.

In his news conference on Friday, Luis Enrique stated that he fully backed the decision as part of a push to provide "maximum professionalism...