Barcelona’s Lionel Messi continues to be ridiculous


Lionel Messi is one of the greatest players to ever play the game and he continues to do things mere mortals would find impossible.

I had the privilege of watching Lionel Messi and Barcelona play two times in the past week and in both matches I witnessed pure greatness from one of the all-time greats. Between watching NFL playoff games on the weekend, Messi and the Blaugrana happened to be taking on the yellow submarine of Villarreal.

Villarreal were leading 1-0 late in the match with Barca poking and prodding around their goal in search of an equalizer and perhaps a winner. They were kept at bay for the most part by the men in yellow shirts until one defender committed a fatal mistake, he fouled Messi just outside the box.

The moment was tense as Neymar and Messi stood above the ball and the commentators debated who would take the shot, with one commenting that the Brazilian was more likely because of the angle. If only he knew that Messi does not care about earthly concerns like angles and physics.

Messi stepped up and did this:

The coolness, the audacity, the technique, all of it so perfect. He went to the keeper’s strong side which was so unexpected that he didn’t even make a move towards that side.

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A good player would have gone to the far corner but an all-timer does what he wants.

The goal was vital for Barca’s La Liga title hopes as it kept them within five points of Real Madrid but at the time all the world could focus on was how spectacular of a goal it was in the moment.

Just a few days later, Barcelona and Messi were taking on Athletic Bilbao in the Copa Del Rey to decide who would move on to the quarterfinals of the competition.

It was another close match as the tie was all knotted up 3-3 on aggregate after Barca lost the first leg 2-1 but were leading by that same score in the second leg.

Athletic Bilbao and Barca were trading shots but there was still plenty of time for the Catalan giants to win the tie and avoid extra time and they would need a special moment to do so.

So who steps up when you need a special moment? Messi of course. Another foul outside the box at nearly the same spot as Villareal’s and then this happened:

Same player, same spot, different opponent, different keeper, different shot, but the same result as the keeper was frozen in his boots and Barca and Messi reeled away in celebration.

Oh and in case anyone forgot, Messi did this to Bilbao in the first leg:

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All great players have a sense of the moment and the truly great ones like Leo Messi rise to the occasion and make magic happen when it truly counts. It has been a privilege to watch Messi all these years but these two moments of magic this week served as an excellent reminder as to why he is so special.