A great last-second goal by Messi

Barcelona vs. Real Madrid—Ronaldo vs Messi—fighting for the La Liga title. It looked like a tie (which would give Madrid the title) until the last ten seconds of injury time. Then Messi, battered in the game and possibly having lost teeth to an elbow, came through, scoring a seemingly effortless left-footed goal to give Barca a 3-2 victory and keeping his team in the running.

The commentary from the Independent:

Barring a complete collapse Real Madrid had won La Liga. Only a miracle could stop them.

That miracle was Lionel Messi, surviving 95 minutes’ worth of battering and beasting to curl home a left-footed strike in the dying seconds. It was a goal to settle any title race, but whether it proves to be such a strike will only become clear down the line – right after those bruises heal and the teeth are replaced.

And a video link (I’ve found a better one) and commentary from reader Michael:

Here is a video of Messi’s vital [literally] 2nd goal.  Messi is left unmarked & has lots of space to strike with his left.
I watched this game down the pub – the place went mental when Messi scored his 2nd goal with 10 SECONDS LEFT of injury time to keep Barca in the title. Messi is one tough hombre – I think some of his teeth were loosened [or lost] at one point, but he isn’t slowed.
The video may not show on this post, but will on YouTube here. (These videos tend to be taken down because capitalism.) Note that despite what the announcer says, this does NOT “defy the laws of physics.” And I wish they’d stop calling Messi a “little man”!

As soccer commentator Seamus Malone told me, Messi appears to be the greatest soccer player of all time. This was also Messi’s 500th goal for Barca.


  1. jose
    Posted April 23, 2017 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    This was a surprise! Barcelona not in real good shape at the moment, but having a miracle worker on the team helps. Let’s watch and enjoy because we won’t see anything like it in our lifetime. We saw the best ever in his prime.

    Also funny how Ramos got himself sent off this time too. It’s like he’s following a venerable football tradition – it’s not a clásico is Ramos doesn’t earn his red card.

  2. Eduardo
    Posted April 23, 2017 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

    Hard to knock them. You have Messi on a team and then you add Suárez, tough combination. Oh yeah, there is that other guy, Neymar…

  3. Geoff Toscano
    Posted April 23, 2017 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    Never write off Barcelona!

  4. Randy schenck
    Posted April 23, 2017 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

    How about, Messi is not for Real. Thank you…all day.

  5. Eric Grobler
    Posted April 23, 2017 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

    I have no idea who Messi is, but I know Gad Saad will go insane with joy.

    • aljones909
      Posted April 23, 2017 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

      Gad Saad had ambitions to be a professional footballer. He also claims he had a Messi like physique.

      • Eric Grobler
        Posted April 23, 2017 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

        “Gad Saad had ambitions to be a professional footballer. He also claims he had a Messi like physique.”
        He is not the self deprecating type!

      • Zach
        Posted April 23, 2017 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

        He also claims he had a Messi like physique.

        No one has a Messi like physique. That’s what sets him apart from other great players.

        It’s also not entirely natural. He had four years of HGH therapy as a teenager, without which he probably would not have been much taller than 5′.

        As a Real Madrid/Ronaldo fan, I can’t help wondering if that HGH affected more than his height…

        • Saul Sorrell-Till
          Posted April 24, 2017 at 4:37 am | Permalink

          I’m of the uncharitable opinion that it’s cheating to be that small.

          • stephen
            Posted April 24, 2017 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

            Jimmy Johnstone?

  6. aljones909
    Posted April 23, 2017 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

    There’s one failing In Messi’s career – he’s been disappointing in his 3 World Cup Finals appearances. Fellow Argentinian Diego Maradona is, in my opinion, the greatest of all time. He was irresistible in the 1986 finals. Wikipedia sums it up:
    “During the course of the tournament, Maradona attempted or created more than half of Argentina’s shots, embarked on 90 dribbles some three times more than any other player and was fouled 53 times, winning his team twice as many free kicks as any player. Maradona scored or assisted 10 of Argentina’s 14 goals, including the assist for the winning goal in the final, ensuring that he would be remembered as one of the greatest names in football history. By the end of the World Cup, Maradona went on to win the Golden Ball as the best player of the tournament by unanimous vote and was widely regarded to have won the World Cup virtually single-handedly, something that he did not entirely agree with. In a tribute to him, Azteca Stadium authorities built a statue of him scoring the “Goal of the Century” and placed it at the entrance of the stadium”

    Messi is a great player – but he’s no Maradona.

    • Saul Sorrell-Till
      Posted April 24, 2017 at 4:46 am | Permalink

      OTOH Maradona can’t compete in terms of European Cups. Messi has four Champions’ Leagues to his name and over the last twenty years the CL has become tougher and more important than ever. I’d place a World Cup medal alongside a Champions’ League medal in terms of significance.

      I’m not really much of a fan of Messi; I’m not fond of him as a guy and I don’t think he’s an aesthetically attractive player, not like Zidane was, or Brazilian Ronaldo,(Messi kind of barrels along like a mobile weeble whereas the aforementioned players are graceful and elegant – this is not a universally held opinion I know, but I’m still right) but I admit that his record over the last decade has been absurd and he’s probably the best player of all time.

    • Ross
      Posted April 24, 2017 at 8:06 am | Permalink

      “…and was widely regarded to have won the World Cup virtually single-handedly”

      Indeed. However he claimed it was the hand of god that punched the ball into the net against England!

      Tarnished forever for that level of cheating, even before the drugs problems.

      • aljones909
        Posted April 24, 2017 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

        Maradona a cheat? Yes, but every forward and defender cheats. Even back in 86 “diving” was common practice. Is a handball worse than a dive or a jersey pull? Was there an England (or Argentinian) player who wouldn’t have dived to gain a penalty?

        • Eric Grobler
          Posted April 24, 2017 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

          “Maradona a cheat? Yes, but every forward and defender cheats.”
          But some cheat more than others.

      • aljones909
        Posted April 24, 2017 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

        Lineker played in that game. Four years later he dived twice in the game against Cameroon to gain two penalties. Seems unfair to say Maradona was “tarnished” when every player is at it.

        • Ross
          Posted April 25, 2017 at 3:07 am | Permalink

          As a rugby union player and coach, I agree that nearly all footballers cheat, feign injury and generally behave like five year olds (when on the pitch) but Maradona’s actions were way above that. It’s called FOOTball for a reason!

          Messi, on the other hand, rarely goes down after contact, tries to play the game & doesn’t react to the violence aimed at him – that’s why I respect him. That he’s also amongst the most skilful players is a bonus.

          • aljones909
            Posted April 25, 2017 at 5:23 am | Permalink

            I agree about Messi. An exception nowadays. I don’t though see how “diving” or jersey pulling is less bad than a deliberate handball. I’d say they were all equally bad.

            On rugby. Players behaviour is pretty much what we should expect of grown ups –
            dramatically better than football. There’s eye gouging though. A hand ball seems pretty innocuous compared to deliberately trying to injure someone’s eyes. I don’t follow the game closely – does it still go on?

    • nicky
      Posted April 24, 2017 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

      Maradonna’s rushes were phenomenal, no disputing that. However, he never grew to become an ‘architect’ like, say, Beckenbauer, Rivera or Cruyff, or indeed Messi.
      Agreed, Messi disappointed to some degree in all his world cups with Argentina. However, if one looks at the statistics (I think our host posted them somewhere earlier, about 2 years ago?), Messi really sticks out, he is the best, ever.
      Another thing, why are most of these la Liga players sporting beards now?

  7. Pierluigi Ballabeni
    Posted April 24, 2017 at 3:52 am | Permalink

    Some people would claim that Di Stefano, another Argentinian, is the greatest one.

    • Posted April 24, 2017 at 4:04 am | Permalink

      You cannot compare players from different generations – except in the pub! It is like saying which is the greatest wine vintage! 🙂

      • Eric Grobler
        Posted April 24, 2017 at 4:07 am | Permalink

        “You cannot compare players from different generations”
        I agree, I always considered myself as good as Pele.

        • darrelle
          Posted April 24, 2017 at 7:23 am | Permalink

          Made me laugh. When I was in high school I was given the nickname Pele by team mates. I thought I was pretty good and was encouraged more than once to play pro, but in the US back then that wasn’t saying much at all. And I was no Pele.

      • Pierluigi Ballabeni
        Posted April 24, 2017 at 5:54 am | Permalink

        I agree, that’s why it does not make sense to claim the Messi is the greatest football player ever. Here in Switzerland people claim that Roger federer is the greatest tennis player of history and you hear this so often that I cannot stand anymore seeing his name or picture in the newspapers.

  8. Saul Sorrell-Till
    Posted April 24, 2017 at 5:00 am | Permalink

    I know his career was cut short by a hideous injury but the most devastating, brilliant player I’ve ever seen was Ronaldo 9, in thattwo or three year period when he was at Barcelona and Inter Milan. I used to go into school the next day and copy everything I’d seen him do.

    Tell me this isn’t some of the most beautiful technique you’ve ever seen:

    Remember too that he shouldn’t have been capable of any of this: he was six foot, naturally predisposed to put on serious weight(he had some kind of metabolic problem), and the way he moved put so much stress on his body because he accelerated so quickly despite his height and weight. His injury was probably precipitated by the stress he put on his knees in that starburst of a three year period when he was unplayable. He was a force of nature brought low by going absolutely flat out, so there’s a certain sadness about watching him in his prime too.

    • Saul Sorrell-Till
      Posted April 24, 2017 at 5:01 am | Permalink

      Sorry about the embedding. I keep doing this, it’s not intentional.

    • nicky
      Posted April 24, 2017 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

      Ronald was also, like Maradonna, a brilliant individual magician with the ball. I do think he had all the signs, contrary to Maradonna, to have grown into an ‘architect’, someone who ‘constructs’ the strategy of a team. A guy with what Cruyff called ‘football intelligence’. The guy that not just scores himself, but sets up the goals.
      Really a great, great pity he had to leave so untimely.

      • Saul Sorrell-Till
        Posted April 25, 2017 at 7:03 am | Permalink

        For me the fact that he was so ‘big-boned’ and tall, so weighty, and yet he still moved with the speed and acceleration of a player with a much, much lower centre of gravity(the most crucial physical characteristic in a dribbler) is why he is the greatest player I’ve ever seen, and that includes Messi.
        Messi due to his small stature(which could have been even smaller without the growth hormones that Barcelona pumped him with in his teens) has an inherent advantage when dribbling. Of course he is outrageously skillful too, but his stature is what gives him that edge. He has the same short, squat, barrel-like physique that Maradona had.
        So that’s why, when a player like Ronaldo comes along, someone who seems to me to defy physics, I appreciate them more because they’ve had to work against their own physique in a way that Messi hasn’t so much. Ronaldo was very strong and broad shouldered too, but it was his dribbling that set him apart, and his tall, broad-shouldered physique should have been a hindrance there.
        He was like nothing I’ve ever seen on a football pitch – like a weapon, something created in a design facility. A perfect player, but a prototype design that wold break down too quickly. He played so flat-out, with such explosive force, that he burned out well before his prime(although he still remained one of the best players in the world even after his injury).
        That’s what makes him more interesting than Messi too, at least to me. There’s a melancholy air to watching him in his prime. By comparison, Messi is like an Apple product – Blemish free and designed to utilitarian perfection, but lacking in personality and uniqueness, and a bit boring.

        As you can see, I could write about him for hours. He was and is my footballing hero – if I could have had any player from history at Manchester United it would have been him. Even if he only lasted three years, it would have been worth it.

  9. Randy schenck
    Posted April 24, 2017 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    I just figured out what all this conversation sounds like. My dad is better than your dad, heard on the play grounds at the age of 10.

  10. jose
    Posted April 24, 2017 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    Looking forward, Barcelona has got relatively attainable games left (away against Espanyol should be the hardest one on paper) while Madrid has got Atletico in the UCL and Valencia and Sevilla in the league.

    This is the drama with Barcelona. It does this but it loses against Betis or Malaga. I dread next week’s match at home against Osasuna because it *looks* easy.

    La Liga is on their hands if they don’t let it slip off.

  11. Mike
    Posted April 25, 2017 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    Defies the Laws of Physics ! er, no.

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