Barcelona (and football) fans all over the world are still in awe because of what they saw on Wednesday night in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League semifinal against Bayern Munich. Not only did the Blaugrana almost book a place in the Berlin Final with an emphatic 3-0 win, but we were also witness to one of Lionel Messi's most magical nights.
The Argentine was spectacular, scoring two amazing goals in a span of three minutes, using his not-from-Earth talent to create magic in spots where other players simply wouldn't know what to do.
His second goal, especially, was something unforgettable. One-on-one against Jerome Boateng, Leo literally dribbled one of the best center-backs on the planet down to the ground before chipping the ball over the best goalkeeper in the world, Manuel Neuer. I know, normal stuff.
One of the best alive for a reason pic.twitter.com/GiwXjPhhPP— Luke Zimmermann (@lukezim) 6 maio 2015
After the game, Messi decided to speak with UEFA's website. He reflected on the importance of the result for the team and their Berlin Final aspirations:
"That was definitely a very complicated match. It's the semi-final of the Champions League, against opponents with terrific players in their ranks. Bayern also like to have possession of the ball, and thus they play similarly to us.
"Getting the opener and establishing the lead was so difficult for us and then the others came so quickly afterwards, all of which constituted a super result to take into the return leg. It's precisely what we wanted to achieve tonight."
Leo also commented on his intense celebration after the first goal, something we are not used to see very often when he scores:
"My celebration came because I was delighted about what that goal meant in terms of the match and the tie. We've had matches before where we simply couldn't score despite our chances.
"So I celebrated like that because we'd managed to open the scoring, which was vital for the tie. Happily then we even managed to score two more!"
Leo also was thankful that referee Nicola Rizzoli made a perfect judgement call to let the play go after Luis Suárez was clearly fouled in the build-up to Neymar's 3-0 goal, in which Messi provided the assist.
"The referee absolutely took the right decision there and then I just did what was normal – what I needed to do. I just reacted in the situation; when the ball was with me I continued playing!"
Finally, Messi didn't want to say the tie is over, and he disagreed with Bayern manager Pep Guardiola, who said his team wouldn't recover if they didn't score at Camp Nou, which happened. For Leo, the Bavarians are still good enough to pull of a miracle, which will require Barça's maximum effort in the return leg:
"I don't know that I agree with [Guardiola]. It's true that we've now got a good result here to take to Germany. Nevertheless we know it will be difficult in Munich, and Bayern have been performing very strongly there. Three-nil is a good result, but we still have to go to the second leg and believe in ourselves."
When your best player and leader doesn't think the tie is over, then the rest of the team will feel the same way. This is Messi, always setting the tone and doing things in a special way. Boy, we are so lucky to witness his existence.