Barcelona captain Messi: Dembele very important for us

As is predominantly the case, Lionel Messi was the star of the show for Barcelona as the Spanish side swatted away the challenge of Espanyol in a 4-0 La Liga thrashing at the RCDE Stadium on Saturday night.

It was 2-0 on 26 minutes when Messi picked out Dembele in the Espanyol penalty area and the France global cut back inside to curl the ball past Lopez.

Ronaldo finished runner-up, while Messi finished fifth in the voting. The 33-year-old won the 2018 UEFA Champions League title with Real Madrid before he led Croatia to reach the World Cup final. "My dream was to play for a big club and win important trophies", Modric said, per The New York Times. "Honestly, it's [getting] worse all the time".

"No. We all came out fired-up from the start, really focused and determined". Let us see how every Barcelona player fared during the game. We deserve a lot of credit for ensuring Espanyol weren't the Espanyol they've been this season. "We respect the competition and we want to win the game and we will do the lineup thinking about the needs of Barcelona, not Inter, thinking about winning". "We're witnessing an unrepeatable era with him".

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Asked how to defend against Messi's set plays, Espanyol coach Rubi suggested some more innovative way of thinking may be needed.

Messi has now scored 19 free kicks in the last four years - which is more than any team's total in Europe's top five leagues - after netting two against Espanyol in Cornella-El Prat to take his goal tally for the season to 17.

"Well, I try to follow a [freekick] ritual a bit, trying to do things the same way so that it goes well again", he said after the match.

Juventus are just behind him with 18, Miralem Pjanic and Paulo Dybala the pair to thank most for their number.

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