Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi has come in for tremendous criticism for his recent poor performances in three different matches. Coincidently, Barcelona have lost all these three matches and as a result will be facing a summer of criticism. This is because the club have been knocked out of three different competitions in the space of a week. First was the Champions League exit at the hands of Atletico Madrid.

It was followed by a league defeat against Granada, which has put them four points behind the leaders Atletico. This has now been followed by a 2-1 defeat against Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey final.

In all these matches, Messi has been looking disinterested and has refused to run much over the course of the 90 minutes. There have been various suggestions for this poor performance from the 26-year-old, who has become used to scoring more than a goal per game in the last few years. Some have suggested that Messi is sad because of not being offered a new contract by the club despite his good performances. However, former club captain Juan Manuel Asensi has rejected such solutions since he recalled that Messi signed a new contract only 12 months ago.

He says that there is something else wrong with the player, but it is difficult to find out.

“I’m surprised and concerned. Something must have happened because Messi has always been committed to the most difficult games. Something’s happened and it must be big because Messi’s attitude hasn’t been right in recent games. He must be going through something powerful. There’s something wrong with Messi. Something deep must be going on with him. I see the sad face and I’ve never seen him like this,” said the former club captain.

Messi has 38 goals in all competitions this campaign.