For the millions of diehard Messi fans, this questions will probably earn me their ire.

Lionel Messi is perhaps one of the best players in the Spanish football league and he has, without a doubt, helped in bringing FC Barcelona back to being one of the top contenders in European football. For those who aren’t football fans, he’s considered as the “Kobe Bryant” of football. And with that in mind, most of us know exactly what FC Barca’s weakness is:

No Lionel Messi means an easy win for any team FC Barcelona may come across.

This is exactly what happened when Manchester United soundly defeated FC Barcelona with a final score of 3-1 in their second match for the International Champion’s Cup. ManU’s Rafinha scored a late goal. Rafinha was considered a valuable player during the game because of his 61% of possession, thus creating 18 goal-scoring chances. He also attempted 13 shots; six of those shots were on target, while three to the post.

According to an online news post regarding FC Barca’s recent defeat, “…every football fan on the planet knows that Lionel Messi is the spark that ignites Barcelona’s engine, the main reason why the Blaugranas have brought silverware back to the Camp Nou museum with enviable consistency for over a decade.” - http://www.espnfcasia.com/club/barcelona/83/blog/post/2536806/barcelona-fall-to-manchester-united-in-leo-messi-absence

Fans also say that because of Messi’s creativity in game, FC Barcelona’s game became unpredictable, which works very well against most of their opponents. Without Messi, however, the team’s gameplay became predictable and Louis Van Gaal’s tactics have pushed Manchester United to become a team more superior to a Messi-less FC Barcelona. Barcelona didn’t have the creativity to oppose Van Gaal’s back-line strategy during the entire game.

During the game at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, it was obvious that FC Barcelona and everyone miss him because of the team’s frustrating performance. While FC Barcelona may blame this as “bad luck”, it was quite obvious in the eyes of the spectators and Messi fans.

Football experts are saying that if FC Barcelona wants to keep winning even without Messi around, they will have to find someone with the same amount of creativity, speed, and gameplay when compared with the Argentinian player. If they can’t find someone, they can try to train someone. But until that happens, Lionel Messi is, and will always be, the one thing FC Barcelona needs to claim victory in every game.

Considering that the Argentinian striker has a net worth of around $180 million, Lionel Messi is just second to Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo.

Messi is enjoying a well-deserved holiday break and will be back in the game in August 3. His fans are all hoping that this will give him plenty of time to recharge his batteries. His team would probably be happy to see him playing again.