Lionel Messi believes that Barcelona’s team organisation is greater than their individual talents, stating that “it isn’t the case” that the Catalan side are over-reliant on him.

Many pundits have suggested that the club’s success has been down to the prowess of their strike force, particularly the Argentine, compensating for deficiencies elsewhere, but the five-time Ballon d’Or winner has dismissed this notion.

“I think it is organisation. Nowadays more than ever, having a team which is organised, compact and knows how to react to every circumstance is the most important thing,” Messi told Sky Sports pundit Guillem Balague.

“Achievements are made when you have a good team which works hard and I think everything starts with the organisation.”

Barcelona’s front three has been heralded as one of the greatest attacking combinations in football history, with the 29-year-old lining up alongside fellow superstars Neymar and Luis Suarez.

It is true that the team tends to perform better when all three are playing, but results seem to dip more noticeably when Messi is the one to miss out.

This season he has failed to make the starting XI five times in La Liga; three of these he missed with injury, whilst the other two he only appeared from the bench in the second half.

Out of these five games, Barcelona won twice, lost twice and drew once, with a win percentage of 40%.

Of the eight league matches in which Messi has started the team have yet to lose, winning six and drawing two, working out at a win percentage of 75%.

Barca currently sit second in La Liga but are already six points adrift of Real Madrid, who they face on Saturday afternoon.

Messi is the all-time top scorer in El Clasico and it would be a brave man to bet against him finding the net again at the weekend in what is now a must-win game at the Camp Nou.

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