Lionel Messi is still every bit of the dominant phenom he’s been for the past decade, but an ex-Barcelona defender is worried his club has become too dependent on his talent. Albert Ferrer has watched the Blaugranas closely this season, and it’s tough to argue with his mindset considering Barcelona let the La Liga title slip away from its grasp by asking Messi to do it all.

“It’s a unique situation,” Ferrar told “No other team can say they depend so much on someone. Barcelona needs to become independent of Leo Messi, but he is still the best, and the moment you give him the ball, he does something with it.”

Messi has been linked to Serie A powerhouse Inter Milan in recent weeks. Ferrar argued the fact that Messi is still in Camp Nou with no palpable traction for a move to Italy is a good sign for the club.

“It’s a good sign that Barcelona still have Messi, but other players need to play more, so not everything has to go through him,” said Ferrer. “It may be difficult to mark Leo, but sometimes he is surrounded, so you need other ways.

“Barcelona need to make other players very important too, and do something different to help him. But they have some good options with the likes of Ansu Fati now.”

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Lionel Messi was once again La Liga’s lead scorer for the fourth straight season, tallying 25 goals along with a record-breaking 21 assists, surpassing his former teammate Xavi.

Barcelona has once again had to cling to their star player to eke out results, and that became even more evident upon the restart of the season, as Real Madrid made them pay for their woes on the pitch.

Barca will have some time to make moves in the offseason, perhaps starting with manager Quique Setien, who has been in hot waters since his hiring.