Unbeaten without Messi

Celebrating a goal at Cordoba, the last game without Messi / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB
In the last three years, FC Barcelona has played 14 times without the Argentinian ace and have won 13 of those matches and drew the other

Even without the best player in the world, FCB have won difficult games such as those in Bilbao and Malaga

Últims partits sense Messi

Spanish League. FCB-Sporting (1-0)
Spanish League. Athletic Club-FCB (1-3)
Spanish Cup. Ceuta-FCB (0-2)
Spanish League. FCB-Llevant (2-1)
Spanish Cup. Almeria-FCB (0-3)
Spanish League. FCB-Deportivo (0-0)
Spanish League. Màlaga-FCB (1-3)

Spanish Cup. L’Hospitalet-FCB (0-1)
Champions. FCB-BATE (4-0)
Spanish Cup. FCB-L’Hospitalet (9-0)
Spanish LeagueLliga. FCB-Sporting (3-1)

Spanish Cup. Alabès-FCB (0-3)
Spanish Cup. FCB-Alabès (3-1)
Spanish Cup. FCB-Còrdova (5-0)

There is life beyond Messi. Perhaps not such a good life, but it does exist. The stats show that. FC Barcelona has won 13 and drawn one of the last 14 matches played without the Argentinian. That means there is no major cause for worry on Saturday against Mallorca. Messi is wonderful asset, but Barça are not totally reliant on his goals.

Big league wins

The league has produced the most demanding games without Leo Messi. The injury caused by Ujfalusi in 2010 meant he was absent for the matches against Sporting Gijón (1-0) and Athletic Bilbao (1-3). That season, he was also rested against Levante (2-1) in the first game of 2011 and against Deportivo (0-0) and Malaga (1-3) when the Liga title was already decided and Barça were more concerned about preparing for the trip to Wembley.

Since then, Messi has only missed one of 67 league matches. That was through suspension in 2011/12, when Barça still had little trouble winning 3-1.

Full house in Copa and Champions League

The other eight official matches without Messi were in the Copa del Rey and Champions League, games involving theoretically weaker opponents against which the manager decided he could afford to rest his biggest star. The gamble paid off every time, for Barça won each of those matches: Ceuta (0-2), Almeria (0-3), L’Hospitalet (0-1 and 9-0), BATE (4-0), Alavés (0-3 and 3-1) and Cordoba (5-0).