Real Madrid CF – April 2011
Barcelona’s encounters with Real Madrid normally draw the focus of the entire footballing world. But in the UEFA Champions League semi-final first leg at the Santiago Bernabeu, it was Lionel Messi who left the opposition stuck in place.
El Clasico matches took place often during the 2010-11 campaign, but none seemed to hold more significance than the Blaugrana’s triumph to move on to the European final.
Taking possession just past the centre circle, Messi displays one of the many qualities that sets him apart from other players. An electric pace that seems to arise from absolutely nowhere leaves defenders scrambling to keep up.
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Messi slices through the central defence with ease, and still has enough to keep racing past Marcelo as the Brazilian tries his best to close down the space.
Even with a tough angle, Barcelona’s superstar is able to leave Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas in a state of confusion.
The early years of this decade featured dramatic characters and intense matches between Barcelona and Real Madrid, with Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho leading the charge.
But it was Lionel Messi’s world-class skill that helped launch the Cules to another Champions League crown in 2011.