Are FC Barcelona out of the 2015 2016 La Liga title race? Any such prediction is admittedly extreme, considering the club's relatively strong season start and their utterly dominant 2014 2015 campaign. However, Barca did suffer arguably the biggest blow possible this past weekend, when Lionel Messi exited a match after just 10 minutes with an injury. According to FC Barcelona's website, Messi has suffered "a tear in the medial collateral ligament of his left knee" with the subsequent news of Lionel Messi out for 7-8 weeks of play.

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A Crisis for Barcelona

It goes without saying that any soccer club would suffer from losing their star player for two months. Barcelona is no different: Messi scored 43 goals in La Liga play last season and 58 overall. He was instrumental in Barca's treble victory and won a well-deserved Best Player in Europe Award from UEFA. It's difficult to assess exactly how Barcelona will perform without his massive talent for 7-8 weeks.

Unfortunately, the blow comes harsher for Barcelona than most. Barca counts on Lionel Messi to play every minute of nearly every game, not just because he's great, but because they lack the players to put on the field as substitutes.

Indeed, even though Barcelona have arguably the greatest front line in soccer right now-between Messi, Neymar, and Luis Suarez-they've taken a "quality over quantity" approach in recent years. Part of the problem is a FIFA transfer ban, which kept Barcelona from putting new players on the pitch this fall. The football club still signed a pair of new footballers this summer-defender Aleix Vidal and midfielder Arda Turan-but can't play either of them until January.

A Pedro-Sized Hole

Barca also made what now seems a clear blunder during the summer 2015 transfer window. After years of Barcelona Away Shirt 2015 - 2016underusing Pedro (he made 35 league appearances last season, but 20 of them were substitutions), FC Barcelona finally agreed to let him make a move to Chelsea this past summer. The football club picked up €27 million for the transfer (plus a potential of €3 million in variables), but will now be hurting without him. Pedro would have been the perfect substitute for Messi, and would have kept Barcelona afloat until the Argentine soccer star's return.

Instead, Barcelona will have to count on a pair of young and largely unproven forwards to fill the shoes of arguably the greatest player in modern soccer. The football club's two other attackers-Munir El Haddadi and Sandro Ramirez-are both 20-year-olds who gained their first senior career appearances last season. Together, they accounted for three of Barcelona's 110 La Liga goals last season.

The Silver Lining

The good news is that Barca still have Luis Suarez and Neymar on the front line. Both forwards could be the absolute star of virtually any other football club in Europe, other than Real Madrid. Luis Suarez scored 31 goals for Liverpool two seasons ago, and while he mostly moved into a supporting role last year (with 16 La Liga goals to his name), he certainly has what it takes to lead. Neymar, meanwhile, was a top-five scorer in the La Liga last year, with 22 goals. If both players step up their game a bit for the next 7-8 weeks, then Barcelona might just be able to pull through.

Meanwhile, since Real Madrid drew their match with Malaga this past weekend, Barcelona are ahead of their primary opponents in the race for the 2015 2016 La Liga title. Villarreal are in the lead with 16 points, while Barca and Real Madrid trail with 15 and 14 points, respectively.

Will FC Barcelona be able to survive the next two months without Lionel Messi? Pick up a Messi 10 Barcelona shirt 2015 2016 from Soccer Box to root for a speedy recovery!