Brazil legend Rivaldo claimed that the presence of Lionel Messi in a team makes it harder for other players to reach their potential.
The former Barcelona man made the comment in regard to the departure of countryman Philippe Coutinho to Bayern Munich after a woeful stint in Spain.
Rivaldo believes Messi likes to take up responsibility and credit and this prevented Coutinho from asserting himself.
“I always believed that Philippe Coutinho had the ability to succeed at Barcelona, but things were taking too much time and both parties agreed on a transfer to Bayern Munich,” he told Betfair.
“I’m a little disappointed about his failure in gaining a regular place in the first team, but perhaps he was no longer confident about it and unhappy, so he opted for a move to another big club trying to finally recover his best football from his time at Liverpool.
“It’s never easy to find your space in a team where Lionel Messi constantly takes all the credit and responsibility. There are few players in the world capable of reaching such a situation and imposing themselves, and maybe Coutinho didn’t have enough patience to find his spot in the team.
“The Argentinian star is the team leader and will keep playing at his best level for about three or four more years, so it is difficult to see other players shining at their best at Barcelona.”
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