FC Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi has shown one weakness lately, converting penalties, and this spot-kick expert now explains the reason behind his recent misses.
Ben Lyttleton assessed Messi’s miss against Manchester City’s Joe Hart on Tuesday and explained that his poor recent record was due to a switch in method.
"Messi has now missed five of his last 10 penalties in all competitions, and four of his last seven for Barcelona,” Lyttleton told talkSPORT.
“This season, he has missed three out of six.”
Lyttleton explains Messi switched from the so-called “goalkeeper-dependent method” to the “goalkeeper-independent method”.
Previously Messi waited for the keeper to make the first move and he would then simply put the ball into the other corner.
Lately, however, Messi seems to have a clear idea into which corner he wants to smash the ball before he starts his run up, which gives the keeper a higher chance to save his shot, if he guesses the corner right.
The expert then stated that Messi’s shocking record might also be a psychological problem.
"He has admitted in the past that nerves have affected him before important penalties,” Lyttleton added.
"Pressure can get to even the best players in the world.”
Messi has now missed 15 out of 71 penalties for Barcelona and Argentina during his career.
Perhaps it’s time that he gives his penalty taking duties to another player, or he switches back to letting the keeper make the first move.
Do you think Neymar or Luis Suarez should replace Lionel Messi as FC Barcelona’s penalty takers? Have your say in the comments section below.