Former Barcelona star in huge dig at club over Lionel Messi dependence

Barcelona’s former forward Malcom has taken a dig at his former club over their dependence on Lionel Messi.

The Brazilian spent one season at the Nou Camp, scoring four goals in 24 games, before moving to Zenit St Petersburg last August.

But his time has been fraught with injury, only making one appearance this season

It has been no better back in Spain, though, sitting three points behind Real Madrid in La Liga.

And the Brazilian believes their superstar captain Messi’s quality covers up problems at Barcelona.

Speaking to Marca, the loanee Barcelona star said: “Yes, some of them, yes.

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“But with Leo, there's [Luis] Suarez, [Antoine] Griezmann, [Ivan] Rakitic, [Frenkie] De Jong, Arthur [Melo], [Arturo] Vidal… lots of other players, too.

“It's not just Leo, it's the whole group.”

Messi is into his 16th season with Barca, scoring 622 goals in 713 appearances.

With six Ballon D’Ors to his name, the Argentine is regarded as one of the best players in history.

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And his former team-mate suggests the 32-year-old is the driving force behind the team.

Malcom continued: “Leo is the best player in the world. Sometimes he does crazy things and helps Barcelona out a lot.

“That's why sometimes when they speak about Barcelona, they speak about Leo.

“It's normal because of everything he does.”

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The Brazilian, though, went on to defend the club’s structure.

Barcelona have great players.“ Malcolm added.

“Barcelona can be calm because whoever plays is a good player and there are only great players there.

“At Barcelona, players come in, players leave and players stay.

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“It doesn't matter. Barcelona don't change much, the system doesn't change much, it will always be a great club.”

Messi is often compared to former Real Madrid rival Cristiano Ronaldo.

But he has recently been linked with a move to the Portuguese star’s side Juventus – and Barcelona legend Rivaldo has given his take on the pair potentially playing together.

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