Lionel Messi Will Be Just as Successful Under Gerardo Martino

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJuly 30, 2013

BILBAO, SPAIN - APRIL 27:  Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona celebrates scoring their opening goal during the La Liga match between Athletic Club de Bilbaoand FC Barcelona at San Mames Stadium on April 27, 2013 in Bilbao, Spain.  (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Change is often a scary thing for anyone. Fortunately, Barcelona fans have nothing to be worried about with the latest change at manager.

After Tito Vilanova had to step down due to health concerns, the club decided to hire Gerardo Martino. This will be the third coach is as many seasons after Pep Guardiola resigned after the 2011-12 season.

Still, star player Lionel Messi has remained solid throughout the years and should not be affected by these changes at the top. In fact, the new hire could make the forward even better.

According to The Sun, Messi denied any involvement in the hiring process to bring in the fellow Argentine, although the player did concede that "he seemed like a good coach."

This is a bit of an understatement for a person who was named South American Coach of the Year in 2007 and has been a part of championship clubs in both Paraguay and Argentina. Most recently, he brought Messi's former club, Newell's Old Boys, to the semifinals of the prestigious Copa Libertadores.

His experience and winning attitude is certain to bring even more success with a talented roster at Barcelona.

However, it is the style that he is bringing that will really help out the offense. Martino respects the current form at Camp Nou, but he wants to incorporate his own changes. According to the club's official site, he had this to say during his introductory press conference:

We will try to recuperate some of the things we saw in the best version of Barça. Creating pressure and getting the ball back quickly are two of the things we really want to get the team doing again.

As a former player under Marcelo Bielsa, Martino has utilized a more aggressive defense in his coaching career, and this will be seen right away at Barcelona.

While this game plan is riskier as it leaves the backs more likely to get beat, it also has a high reward of getting the ball back to the offensive players quicker. The La Liga club already excels at keeping possession, so maintaining the ball for longer could be devastating for opponents.

This strategy will get more touches for Messi, which he will almost certainly turn into more goals with his elite ball skills and finishing ability.

Additionally, the forward can be more active defensively as well while taking over the ball deeper in the opponent's zone. This will once again give him more opportunities near the net.

One other notable statement that was made during the press conference was regarding the addition of Neymar to the roster. Martino said, "If Messi and Neymar can`t work together, that’s because the coach has a problem, not the players."

This is incredibly encouraging for those worried about how two impact players would be able to coexist on the pitch at the same time. It is clear that the new coach will make it a priority to ensure that he gets the most out of his biggest stars.

Messi has been arguably the top player in the world for the past few years. He has won the Ballon d'Or four years in a row and continues to set records with his goal-scoring ability.

In case there was any concern that the new coach would slow him down at all, those issues can be put to rest.

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