Leo Messi – Jordi Alba: a lethal attack

When we talk about the offensive potential of a team, usually comes to our mind the forwards of that team, and the goals that their players score from the last advanced line of the team’s structure. But we seldom stop to think about what kind of actions help these goals. And this, we believe, is equal or more important than the final execution itself.

Putting the focus of attention on one of the best players in history, if not the best, Leo Messi, we observe his scoring ability in an infinity of resources and different records. With the left, right, head, lack, penalty, individual play, combined action, etc. But there is a situation that draws our attention and that does not go unnoticed by anyone, and it is the Jordi Alba-Messi connection.

Messi - Alba

5 keys of the success of this lethal duo:

    • First of all is the undoubted talent that the two players have. In actions of equality or even numerical inferiority, they are able to overcome the rival through their qualitative advantage in difficult actions to solve. We associate this ability to creative-expressive capacity that the two players have, solving situations in a way that nobody could have imagined doing before.
    • The second aspect that we highlight between the two is what we call a constellation, and refers to the ability to interact and communicate in a motor way with astonishing ease. We associate this capacity with the assertive-motor structure of the two players. Capacity that allows them to know their partner perfectly, intuiting perfectly the movements that they are going to make and finding connections in thousandths of a second without saying a word.
    • At a purely tactical level, Jordi Alba is not a player who is, he is a player who always appears. This seems silly, but the reading he has of when and how to incorporate to the attack, allows him to always arrive free mark, since it becomes very difficult for the rival team to run the marks after a good change of orientation, or to the opponent winger to follow him in his internships due to his great speed.
    • About the crosses that make Jordi Alba, they are usually always low balls, and with a horizontal or even diagonal back directionality when the player reaches the bottom line. Normally, in the actions that take place this type of crosses, the rival defensive line is receding its position prioritizing defending the space they have behind them, hence the difficulty to get those balls.
    • Finally, there is a need to talk about Leo Messi. It’s not necessary to describe what he does because words are unnecessary. Just say, that he knows perfectly how to always find that Alba ball, crossing and anticipating ahead in the race to his defender with his changes of pace and direction, or doing that step back to generate space so difficult to defend for the teams rivals.

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