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Lionel Messi's Touch Map Every Season Since 2004-05 Shows How His Game Has Evolved Over Time

Lionel Messi's Touch Map Every Season Since 2004-05 Shows How His Game Has Evolved Over Time

A Reddit thread has spotlighted the different positional changes Lionel Messi has made across his illustrious career with Barcelona so far.

The Argentine superstar, 32, has predominantly played out on the right wing, but Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola used him effectively well when he deployed him as a 'false nine.'

And Reddit user SportsChord has created touch maps to highlight how his positioning has changed season by season.

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While it shows the Barcelona captain's evolution from 2004-05 to 2015-16, user survivalothefittest has filled in the blanks by showing how Messi's heat map panned out in the past three seasons.

Messi's touches have shown him occasionally tracking back into the Barcelona half, but the majority of touches come in the centre as he takes players on directly with his superb dribbling skills and passing ability.

And his positioning in 2012 when he scored an eye-watering 91 times, both club and country, has blown some fans away.

Credit: Reddit
Credit: Reddit
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2016-17

Credit: Reddit
Credit: Reddit

2017-18

Credit: Reddit
Credit: Reddit
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"The position in 2011/12 is mad considering how many goals he put up. Most of his touches were quite a way outside the box and he still scored 50 league goals," one Reddit user wrote.

Someone else responded: "God damn 50 goals in 37 league games is literally insane. How tf is that possible. What a player [sic]."

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A third said: "2012/13 is even more insane imo. 46 goals in 32 games and just 28 starts. He didnt score as many hattricks but scored 21 league matches in a row. He didnt score in 5 of the 32 games he played [sic]."

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

A fourth added: "The most sick thing is he was much better in 2012/2013 season but he got injured and still had 46 goals. He would have had 57 goals in 2012/2013 if he played the same amount of minutes as in 11/12."

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner missed Barcelona's first league clash against Athletic Bilbao after he picked up a pre-season injury.

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Barca boss Ernesto Valverde, who's been heavily criticised for his side's opening league defeat last week, has also lost Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele to injury.

Barcelona are expecting Messi to be fit in time for their first home La Liga match of the season against Real Betis on Sunday.

Which is Messi's best touch map?

Let us know in the comments.

Featured Image Credit: PA/Reddit

Topics: Football News, Football, Barcelona, Lionel Messi, Reddit, La Liga, Barca, Camp Nou

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Adnan Riaz

Adnan Riaz is a journalist for SPORTbible. He studied for a B.A. in History at the University of York and followed it up with an M.A. in Multimedia Journalism at MMU. Before he started writing about sports, he spent over four years in the gaming press. He has worked for several publications, including Hardcore Gamer, LADbible and the Manchester Evening News. Follow him on Twitter to find out what he is working on next. Got a story tip for Adnan? Email him: [email protected]