After a fortnight in which Barcelona’s fortunes have for the first time in many a year dwindled, and the future of the team has been questioned, the Argentine wonderkid rose his hand highest to not only drag his team into the quarter-finals, but also dispel all those Doubting Thomases.
The Catalans needed to change history to progress after the 2-0 first leg loss against AC Milan at the San Siro – no team had ever come back from a two-goal deficit without the benefit of an away-goal.
Fortunately, Messi is in the business of breaking records and his two goals set Barcelona well on their way to overturning the odds – and retain their tags as favourites for the title.
His first goal was a thing of beauty; though not altogether new to the player. Some quick passing in and around the box saw the ball come to Messi, whose first touch took it away from the defender, and his second curl it past a bemused Christian Abbiati before the goalkeeper even had a chance to set himself.
The second goal was more stock-standard, but still with some Messi brilliance involved – skipping past a defender, putting the ball on his left foot and firing in from the edge of the area.
And that’s the thing about the Argentine captain – more often than not you know exactly what he’s going to do, but you can’t do anything to stop him.
The two goals saw him move ever closer to Real Madrid legend Raul at the top of the Uefa Champions League goalscoring stakes, and also further improve his amazing goals-to-games ratio in the competition.
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