Former Barcelona star Malcom has admitted that Lionel Messi’s world-class talent has covered up a lot of flaws at the club over the last few years. The Brazilian left Camp Nou last summer for Russia after struggling to get game-time under Ernesto Valverde despite making an impact off the bench.
The Brazilian signed for the La Liga giants from Bordeaux in the summer of 2018 but was never the player that former manager Ernesto Valverde really wanted. That caused a few problems for Malcom with the 22-year-old struggling to get game-time even when the club had serious injury issues and despite making an impact off the bench.
That saw Malcom eventually leave the club last summer for Zenit St. Petersburg in a move that shocked many but in an interview, the Brazilian opened up about the current problems at Barcelona. He went on to admit that while Lionel Messi’s quality and talent covers up a lot of problems at the club, the La Liga giants are still a great club and will always be a great club.
“Yes, Messi’s quality does cover up some problems at Barcelona, yes. But with Leo, there's Luis Suarez, Antoine Griezmann, Ivan Rakitic, Frenkie De Jong, Arthur Melo, Arturo Vidal... lots of other players, too. It's not just Leo, it's the whole group. Leo is the best player in the world; sometimes he does crazy things and helps Barcelona out a lot,” Malcom told Marca.
“That's why sometimes when they speak about Barcelona, they speak about Leo. It's normal because of everything he does. But at Barcelona, players come in, players leave and players stay. It doesn't matter. Barcelona don't change much, the system doesn't change much, it will always be a great club.”
The move to Russia hasn’t worked out as Malcom initially planned with the 22-year-old tearing a tendon in his hip after just two appearances. That hasn’t changed his stance on what he came to Zenit St. Petersburg to achieve, however, as the Brazilian went on to admit that he expects to win the league and the Cup so that they can play Champions League football.
“I have five years left on my contract. [I expect] to win the league and the cup to return to play in the Champions League next season as last season was awful because it's a shame that we couldn't even play in the Europa League. We have to work a bit more; fix things that we failed in order to come back stronger next season,” he added.