FC Barcelona players must do everything to make sure Lionel Messi is able to play his best football, says his teammate Frenkie de Jong. The Argentinian forward is playing in a new role this season under Ronald Koeman as a false striker and he has failed to score a goal from open play. De Jong says he and his fellow teammates must try to get Messi in the right position.
“When you have Messi in your team, of course you have the best player in the world in your team,” the Dutch midfielder told UEFA.com. “You try to get him into the best positions to make a difference and I think we need to adapt to him. When he is receiving the ball in a position where he can make the difference, he will make it for you, always.”
De Jong himself also plays in a new role compared to last season. This has seen his number of completed dribbles improve. “I think in my nature as a player, I want to receive the ball early in the play and to set up the play. I think that’s more my style of play than waiting for the ball and receiving it up front, and touching the ball less. I think I feel more comfortable in the pivot position than high up front, but I can also play high up front.”