According to a sports analyst, Jidonu Mauyon, these are the 5 players who could help Barcelona to win the UEFA Champions League this season without Messi.
As Jidonu Mauyon writes........ It has been another promising season for Catalan giants FC Barcelona so far. The Blaugrana are currently topping the La Liga table with a whopping 46 points at the moment while their recent 3-0 victory over Leganes on Thursday means that they remain in contention for the Copa Del Rey trophy too.
But despite all these, everyone knows that the priority at the Nou Camp this season is to win the UEFA Champions League. Having failed in the European tournament for the past 3 seasons and watching their arch-rivals Real Madrid winning the continental crown in each of those years, the Blaugrana have become desperate to restore their pride and conquer Europe once again and they have come all out to win the trophy this term.
Such is the priority they attached to the competition that their talisman Lionel Messi recently promised to do everything to return the trophy to Catalonia and he has backed it up with exceptional performances in the tournament where he has already led them into the Round Of 16.
While all eyes are currently fixed on the Argentine to lead Barcelona to win the Champions League this season, we quickly take a look at 5 other superstars who could also help the Catalans in their bid to claim the continental prize:
5. Marc Andre Ter Stegen
A superstar who rarely gets the plaudits despite his incredible efforts, German goalkeeper Marc Andre Ter Stegen is one of the few Barcelona superstars whose influence would be highly needed as the Catalans aim to claim the UEFA Champions League once again this season.
The former Borussia Monchengladbach guardian has been in an exceptional form since the beginning of the campaign, producing extraordinary performances in between the sticks, recording plenty of saves and adding balance and composure to the team as they start plays from the back.
With the European tournament consisting of a lot of attacking teams and incredible goalscorers, Barcelona will need the support of Ter Stegen to help in keeping opposition attackers quiet. The German is in an incredible form this season and he would definitely play a huge role in Barca's European mission.
4. Jordi Alba
When it comes to recognizing the most in-form offensive side-backs in European football at the moment, only a few can be compared with Spanish International Jordi Alba - thanks to his unbelievable displays so far during the season.
The defender has been in an extraordinary form since the beginning of the campaign, pushing aggressively forward to attack opposing defences on the left flank as well as tracking back at the vital moments to neutralize incoming counter-attacks by utilizing his explosive pace.
With his busting runs and amazing linkup with the likes of Lionel Messi, Philippe Coutinho, and Ousmane Dembele, Jordi Alba will be a serious threat to opposing defences in the UEFA Champions League this season. His immense creativity and his ability to create magic from almost nothing are what make him an indispensable weapon in Barcelona's European Arsenal.
3. Arturo Vidal
When Barcelona unveiled Arturo Vidal as their new signing during the summer transfer window, many eyebrows were raised. But the former Bayern Munich star knows how to put his critics in their place, burying every doubt that accompanied his transfer with a couple of scintillating displays at the Nou Camp this season.
As a matter of fact, the signing of the Chilean midfielder will do Barcelona a lot of good, especially in the UEFA Champions League, with the player himself having revealed on multiple occasions that his priority is to win the continental prize at the Nou Camp.
A highly experienced superstar with an incredible fighting spirit, Vidal would be a perfect match against any elite team in the European tournament. His immense physicality also means that he can help the team to avoid bullying from physical teams, such as the one that happened against Roma last season.
2. Philippe Coutinho
It hasn't been a very impressive campaign for former Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho so far this season but the Brazilian is without doubts one of the few superstars who could help Barcelona in their mission to claim the UEFA Champions League during the term.
On his day, Coutinho is capable of splitting even the tightest defences apart with his magical vision and incredible dribbling skills, while his ability to find the back of the net from long range renders him a serial threat to any opposition in the European tournament.
Whether he is deployed as an attacking midfielder or as a winger on either flank, the former Liverpool playmaker has what it takes to decide the fate of any game within the blink of an eye and his presence will definitely do Barcelona a lot of good in the UEFA Champions League.
1. Ousmane Dembele
Signed as the replacement for Neymar Jr who left Barcelona for Paris Saint Germain during the summer of 2017, French wunderkind Ousmane Dembele failed to make a serious statement following his move to the Catalan capital due to injury crisis last season.
However, the attacker has made up for his initial setback this season, bagging an amazing 11 goals and 5 assists in 25 appearances for the Blaugrana across all competitions and the Catalans will be counting on him to produce even more magic as they continue to push for European conquest.
With his electrifying pace and fantastic dribbling skills, Dembele will be a huge problem for opposing defences in the UEFA Champions League. Adding to that to his immense creativity and incredible finishing skills, the Frenchman will be really unstoppable in the competition.