Almost two months ago, Lionel Messi ruined the life of Bayern Munich center-back Jérôme Boateng during the first leg of the UEFA Champions League semifinal between Barcelona and the Germans. The Blaugrana won 3-0 in a brilliant night by the Argentine superstar, and perhaps his greatest moment in the match came in the second goal, when he did this:
That dribble that dropped the center-back to the floor in humiliating fashion instantly became a worldwide sensation, and in spite of being a 26-year-old world-class player who's a World Cup winner with Germany, Boateng's career will be always hunted by that play.
One could imagine that Boateng is upset by that iconic moment, and thinks about it all the time. But he actually doesn't. In an interview with ESPN FC, he didn't have any problem answering the question about the play, and he really thinks it's a funny moment.
"That doesn't really affect me. I was laughing at myself. When you fall down or slip in a situation and somebody scores a goal, it's normal. These things happen; it happens to me, it happens to other players, I don't care about these things.
"For me, he's the best player in the world. That's football. Sometimes you look bad or something happens. I'm a defender, that doesn't kill me or anything."
Boateng also commented on the 5-3 aggregate loss to Barça in the Champions League semis. For him, the Catalan giants were deserving, but the many injury issues for Bayern did have a big influence on the final result.
"Of course it was a bad loss for us, and we did well for 75 minutes or something, and then against a team like this it's difficult. Especially the second goal was a great goal from Messi. At the end of the day, you have to continue your hard work, and next season I will try with the team again to win the Champions League. Sometimes you lose, sometimes you win, sometimes you are unlucky, but that's life."
"I don't want to have an excuse or something, but of course it's a big influence for us, for our team. We have been missing also David Alaba, who is a key player for us, and Arjen and Franck. It's like when you take from Barcelona Messi, Neymar and [Andres] Iniesta. But like I said, that's football. The moment we didn't have them, we tried our best. We lost against a better team over two games, so next season I hope we're going to meet them again and then we try with a different team."
Cool, Boateng. How about that Messi play again? I'm curious.