Lionel Messi C-
[KEN] Well, this is embarrassing. For the first time, I’ve rated the world’s greatest player in my “Three Down.” Martino has to bear some responsibility for Lionel’s performance Wednesday, though. Messi is exhausted.
It showed in his passing, shooting, even his trademark dribbling and free kicks. Milliseconds slow, frustration clouding his judgment, his thirst for the spectacular play — that he usually makes — turning into giveaways. I have become a devoted Messi fan over the past month, but the guy we saw earlier this week was a shadow of himself.
Here’s a radical idea, Tata — rest your star, whether he wants to or not. A full match. Do it soon while you still have a margin for error while tilting at the playoff windmill.
[MATT] This was not the Lionel Messi La Familia has gotten used to.
I don't want to lean into his age, but you could see he was worn out. It might have been better to just not put him on the pitch at all and roll the dice. After all, a 100% Messi is much better than a 60% Messi... and we might... might... have seen a 60% Messi against Nashville.