Barcelona Transfers: 5 Players Who Could Make Lionel Messi Better

Adi-Oula Sebastian@JubeiKibagameCorrespondent IIJanuary 10, 2011

Barcelona Transfers: 5 Players Who Could Make Lionel Messi Better

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    Messi won...yaaa...hold on, I was rooting for Xavi!!!Michael Steele/Getty Images

    Oops he did it again; Lionel Messi has received the Ballon d’Or for the second year in a row. Although he is widely regarded to be the best player in the world, by quite some distance, La Pulga was considered the outsider for the prestigious award.

    In recent times the winner of the FIFA World Cup tournament produced the Ballon d’Or recipients Fabio Cannavaro (2006), Ronaldo (2002) and  Zidane (1998).

    Therefore it was safe to assume that either Xavi or Andres Iniesta would win football’s biggest individual prize. Either of these men would’ve become only the second Spanish player to ever win the Ballon d’Or, after Luis Suarez in 1960. Coincidentally, Suarez also happened to be a Barca player then.

    Would’ve, could’ve, should’ve…it just wasn’t meant to be. Xavi & Iniesta are football superstars but Lionel Messi is a Supernova—he just shines brighter than anyone.

    But what if Xavi and Iniesta weren’t teammates with Lionel Messi? What if he had different teammates?

    Let’s assume for a moment the dynamic duo of Xavi and Iniesta would not ply their trade for FC Barcelona —I know, a truly horrific thought—but could there be others who could develop a just as strong understanding with Lionel Messi? Since this is, more or less, fantasy football, let’s meet the five candidates who could exploit the talents of little Lionel even more. 

Cesc Fabregas

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    Home Sweet Home?Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

    The talismanic Arsenal captain definitely knows how to play with Lionel Messi, having been brought up in Barca’s famed La Masia youth academy. In their youth, Pique, Cesc and Messi would defeat opposing teams by large margins.

    One can only wonder if the La Masia trio could repeat this feat as professionals. There are only a few better than picking a pass than Fabregas, perhaps only one, Xavi. 

    I’d define Cesc as a mix between Xavi and Iniesta. Fabregas is not the dribbler Iniesta is but far more attacking than Xavi. Whereas Xavi likes to control the match from the middle of the pitch, Cesc has developed the habit of penetrating the opposing box. His goal-scoring exploits have certainly improved over the last few seasons and are clearly superior to that of Xavi or Iniesta. The Barca duo however, don't need to and never needed to be prolific goal-scorers.

Didier Drogba

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    When he comes, you better count your bones.Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

    Yeah I know, Drog-Drog isn’t enjoying the best form of his career, but he remains one of the best strikers in football, period.

    Although he wouldn’t improve Barca’s overall gameplay like say, David Villa, he would create space in abundance. Imagine being an opposing defender, do I mark the onrushing Lionel Messi or do I leave Drogba alone? Even when Drogba is having a bad day—whatever that might be—he is a brute force of nature.

    Under no circumstances should you leave Drogba unsupervised. He is, more or less, an express train on legs. I think it’s a fair assessment that Messi would exploit the holes created by Droba’s mere presence to his advantage.

Ashley Cole

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    How did he bag Cheryl Cole in the first place?Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

    Since La Pulga is usually roaming all over the pitch these days, I think he could develop a just as devastating partnership with Cole on the left-flank as he does with Dani Alves on the right. 

Carlos Tevez

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    Do I stay or should I leave? A million spouses are asking themselves the very same question every day.Clive Mason/Getty Images

    He runs, runs and…guess what, runs even more. One could mistake Tevez for Barca’s in-house Energizer Bunny Dani Alves—he just never stops running.

    Carlos Tevez must be one of the most unselfish forwards around; his all-action style of play could only benefit Messi’s scoring record. 

Wayne Rooney

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    The joys only football can bring. Life can be so simple.Alex Livesey/Getty Images

    To be quite honest, I cannot distinguish between Carlos Tevez and Waaza. They are very similar in their approach to the game that whatever holds true for Tevez also applies to Rooney.

    Lately these two are going toe-to-toe when it comes to off-pitch drama—an area of expertise that used to be monopolized and dominated solely by the ex-Everton youth product. 

    The white Pele switched alliances from blue to red, while Tevez ditched the Red Devils for the sky-blue Citzens. Nonetheless, Wayne Rooney remains a quality player although his displays in front of goal are nothing short of disastrous these days.