Michael Jordan didn’t give fair warning when he jammed home a missed Scottie Pippen free throw. Peyton Manning won’t apologize for disrupting defenses when he calls audibles at the last second. So when FC Barcelona striker Leo Messi caught defenders off-guard to score an amazing free kick goal yesterday to put his club ahead 2-1, that’s the gamesmanship of a superstar. Tied before the winner against Atletico Madrid, the referee gave Messi the green light to fire and although debatable by detractors – it counted.
Messi is not as accomplished in set piece goals like his Spanish Premier League rival Cristiano Ronaldo, but from his recent form including a four goal match against Valencia last week, Messi adds to his resume to become one of the greatest ever to walk on the soccer pitch. The face of Real Madrid would beg to differ as his squad hold a ten point lead over Messi’s Barca as well as Cristiano’s league leading goal tally of 29. The 29th came from a corner kick Ronaldo recovered, scoring on a no-look backheel goal against Rayo Vallecano to win the game for Madrid, 1-0. Yes it was showboat move – but it worked. Ask Mario Balotelli what happens when you miss.
We can debate on who is the superior player for days but in this particular day, who had the better goal?