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What would happen if Lionel Messi decided to leave Barcelona for Real Madrid?
It's blasphemous for Barça fans to think about the idea of their club captain leaving for Los Blancos, especially as such a transfer would eclipse the treachery of Luís Figo's move to Madrid in 2000.
Well, the folks over at Planet Football have put that experiment to the test in Football Manager 2019, with the 31-year-old Argentine magician leaving the Camp Nou and now calling the Santiago Bernabéu his new home.
So, let's find out how Santiago Solari's men have done with Messi in their squad.
Focusing on the period between August to November, Madrid have played 12 matches and have won on 11 occasions.
In fact, they've only drawn one of their matches and Messi has already worked his magic by scoring eight times.
How about Barça, eh?
Oh, boy! Ernesto Valverde realises the problems that he faces without Messi, with the Spanish club only securing 19 points from 12 matches.
In fact, Barcelona are 15 points behind Madrid by the end of November!
Moving into the December to March period, Valverde's men are able to emerge with a 1-0 victory over Madrid at the Bernabéu.
That's right, Barça have had the last laugh on that occasion.
Barcelona are able to regain some of their momentum in La Liga and end up going on an unbeaten run until mid-March.
Madrid, on the other hand, are completely unfazed by Valverde's momentum with Barça.
In fact, Messi doesn't care that he messed up the opportunity to score against his former club.
While Madrid have made solid progress in the Champions League, the five-time Ballon d'Or winner has scored 20 times and has nine assists in La Liga after 34 matches.
Entering into the final period of the season (between April to May), Madrid have won a treble.
Oh, yes! Messi has delivered by helping his side lift the La Liga title and win the Champions League after beating Manchester United in the final.
Solari has no intention on using his danger man on Barcelona in the El Clásico fixture at the Camp Nou, which ends in a 1-1 draw.
However, Barcelona reaches the Copa del Rey final to face Madrid in another El Clásico, but Messi has the last laugh this time around.
That's right, he opens the scoring against his former side in a 2-0 win.
It's a poor showing from Barcelona in La Liga, too, finishing in fourth place and 17 points adrift from Los Blancos.
Well, that's that!
It's not the first time that Football Manager 2019 has been used for some brilliant what-if scenarios.
It has previously been used to show how Messi would do in Serie A if he accepted Cristiano Ronaldo's challenge to play in the Italian league, while another scenario predicted how José Mourinho's managerial career would change over the next six years.
How many trophies will Barcelona win this season?
Let us know in the comments.
Featured Image Credit: PA
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