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5 times Lionel Messi mesmerised for 90 minutes

Parth Athale

Lionel Messi

In December 2004, a scruffy teenager made his debut for Barcelona. He played for eight minutes. This is how most youngsters' careers kick off, by a cameo substitute appearance. But this footballer’s career panned out differently, and how.

In the 12 years since, Lionel Messi has stamped his authority on European football. He has amassed innumerable individual and team honours, which include five Ballon d'Or awards. The Argentinian has won eight La Liga titles along with four Champions League crowns.

Most of these titles came during a ridiculously successful spell under Pep Guardiola. Post-Guardiola, the little Argentinian has continued to bring trophies people subconsciously associate with Barcelona.

Many consider the 29-year old to be the greatest ever to grace the football field. His sheer love for the game is what makes him so special.

Wikipedia lists him as a professional footballer, but it would be more apt, had he been listed as a magician, wizard or alien. Even after 12 years of mesmerising football, he never ceases to amaze. On that note, here are the top five times when Lionel Messi mesmerised for 90 minutes.


#1 Barcelona 5-2 Getafe 18/4/2007

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Messi scored two goals on that night, and the second was a sweet strike into the top corner. That goal was by far the second best that night, courtesy of Messi’s stunning first.

Receiving the ball in his own half, he went on a mazy run that left five Getafe players trailing in his wake.

It was a dribble unlike any other, and he rounded the goalkeeper before finishing with his right foot. It was a truly special goal, labelled by many as the goal of the decade. Diego Maradona must have been proud.

#2 Barcelona 7-1 Bayer Leverkusen 7/3/2012

Messi in action against Leverkusen

Messi created history on this day, becoming the first player to score 5 goals in a Champions League game. Luiz Adriano matched this feat in 2014, but Messi’s performance on this night was otherworldly.

His first was a delicate left footed chip after a through ball. The second was trademark Messi; cutting inside from the wing to score in the left corner. He completed his hat-trick with another chip, this time with his right foot.

The fourth was a tap in, and the fifth was a stunning curling finish from outside the box. A perfect game if ever there was one.

#3 Barcelona 3-0 Bayern Munich 5/5/2015

Messi leaving Boateng for dead

This game for Guardiola was his first one at the Camp Nou post his departure. His Bayern Munich side were hoping to topple the Catalan giants in the Champions League semi-final first leg. Bayern's defence kept the trio of Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar relatively quiet for the first 77 minutes. But then Messi happened.

He pounced on a poor free kick by Manuel Neuer and rifled the net with a low and powerful drive. His second was irresistible. Messi left Jerome Boateng stumbling before deftly flicking the ball over Neuer's outstretched hands. Had Boateng not been an established starter at the time, that goal could have ended his Bayern career.

As Bayern searched for an away goal to keep their hopes alive, Messi landed another blow. He played in Neymar who scored past a fuming Neuer to put the tie beyond doubt. Messi won a two-legged tie single handedly in the first leg itself. Just another day at the office.

#4 Barcelona 3-3 Real Madrid 10/3/2007

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This was the game in which Messi announced himself to the footballing world. At just 19 years of age, he scored a sensational hat-trick in a thrilling Clasico. The first was a clinical finish after a through ball from Samuel Eto'o. The second was an emphatic volley, hammered into the roof of the net.

However Barcelona were reduced to 10 men just before half time as defender Oleguer Presas was sent off. Real Madrid scored shortly after that via a Sergio Ramos header, and it looked as if that had sealed the deal for them.

But Messi scored a superb third in the 90th minute to cap off a brilliant display. He ran into a pass from Ronaldinho, nimbly skipped past two defenders and unleashed a powerful shot into the right corner. Messi was a nightmare for the Madrid defence throughout, especially in the second half despite playing with 10 men.

#5 Barcelona 4-1 Arsenal 6/4/2010

Messi was unstoppable that night

Messi has tormented Arsenal numerous times but this game he humiliated them. Nicklas Bendtner scored in the 18th minute to put the Gunners ahead in the tie and give the fans hope of an upset. But as Arsenal supporters found out, hope is a fickle thing. Messi scored four unanswered goals to extinguish any hopes the London side garnered.

He first thundered a shot in the top corner, then put Barcelona ahead with a right-footed finish. To complete his hat-trick before half time he executed an audacious chip over goalkeeper Manuel Almunia. His fourth was a perfect demonstration of how defenders are rendered helpless by the Argentinian’s wizardry.

Despite the defenders lunging in and the goalkeeper saving his first attempt, Messi slotted in the rebound. The child-like smile on his face following the goal won’t fail to put one on yours.

Edited by Staff Editor

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