Part of their problem is that they can not let go of the past and their history. It hangs around their necks like a weight and absolutely paralyses them. It also does not help that they can not let go of or retire certain players (Messi and Di Maria). Perhaps they do not have adequate replacements but continually playing both players makes me feel like it is a long goodbye tour that simply delays the inevitable (their retirement) and stunts the development of the team.
I am not surprised that they try and direct everything through Messi but they play like that to their own detriment. Similar to Ronaldo, he is not the player he once was and I would argue that playing in France has not helped him in that regard. His free kicks were atrocious and there were moments when they overplayed the ball when a simple, decisive ball would have been the better option than Messi dwelling on the ball for too long.