Barcelona needed the individual skills of their star-studded forward line to beat Paris St Germain on Wednesday after another disjointed performance and questions continue to be asked over the tactics of coach Luis Enrique.
Cristiano Ronaldo netted his 14th and 15th goals to set a record scoring start in a Spanish league season as Real Madrid eased to a 5-0 win at Levante on Saturday, while Lionel Messi scored to move one goal from the competition's all-time scorer.
As a 17-year-old, Lionel Messi made his debut for Barcelona ten years ago against city rivals Espanyol in a Catalan derby. Since then, the diminutive Argentine has gone on to create football records once considered impossible.
Following their 2-0 win over the visiting Athletic Bilbao, Barcelona coach Luis Enrique heaped praise on Lionel Messi. Enrique said that the Argentine is their comic book hero and can do things that people can't do on a Playstation video game. The coach also felt that manga super-hero Captain Tsubasa aka Flash Kicker would struggle to match Messi's magic.
FC Barcelona will wear the colours of the Catalan flag, the Senyera, when they welcome Athletic Bilbao at Camp Nou later on Saturday. It will be the first time the team will be wearing the flag’s colours at home since the club was founded in 1899. In a time of heightened political tension, it may well be read as a political statement.
For Lionel Messi, scoring goals is just another part of his life. But for his legion of fans, each goal he scores, counts. When Athletic Bilbao take the field on Saturday at the Camp Nou, many will hope the little Argentine scores at least two to complete a historic 400th.
Live coverage from the Match-day 38 of La Liga as defending champions, Barcelona hosts table topper Atletico Madrid at Camp Nou Bernabeu. Barca need a win, while a draw will be good enough for the visitors.