Neymar claims Lionel Messi's penalty pass was meant for him
Barcelona’s Lionel Messi made the headlines once again but this time, it wasn’t for his scoring heroics but for assisting Suarez from the penalty spot! The incindent went viral on social media as Messi laid the ball on for an on-rushing Suarez when everyone including the Celta Vigo goalkeeper was expecting him to shoot.
But now Neymar has come out and said that the pass was intended for him and not the Uruguayan. “It was for me, we had practiced it in training!. Leo and myself had practiced but Luis was closer and he scored it.”, the Brazilian grinningly stated.
Barcelona were leading 3-1 before Messi won a penalty, and as always he stepped to take it. When he did lay it off video replays show both Suarez and Neymar attacking it but Suarez got there first and completed his hat-trick.
Nevertheless, Neymar seemed to be happy for his teammate and didn’t think it was selfish saying, “Our friendship is the most important thing. It doesn't matter who scores the goals just that we win the games”.
His Barcelona teammates though seemed perplexed and had no idea that they were planning that move. Iniesta said he wasn’t sure when had they decided to do it saying, “I had never seen them do it but I had heard them discuss it, Perhaps it was for Neymar but Luis was there so he converted it.”.
Left back, Jordi Alba was also bemused and claimed he hadn’t seen them do it training. “I didn't know because it's not usual to pass, but he is always coming up with things," he said. “It went well. The penalty was perfect. I don't know if they talked about it, but they're always trying things.”, he added.
The goal has sparked international debate, firstly on whether it should have been allowed and secondly if it was an act of unselfishness or arrogance from the little magician. Messi was all set to score his 300th La Liga goal after scoring his 299th earlier in the game with a sublime free-kick but instead chose to settle for the assist.
The Catalan club restored their three-point cushion at the top of the league after the 6-1 win over Celta Vigo. The holders also have a game in hand over the chasing pack having played 23 games.
The Madrid clubs had earlier kept up the pace behind the leaders, both of them winning their respective matches to ensure Barcelona didn't extend their lead even further.