clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Lionel Messi Breaks Valencia's Hearts, Blows Them A Kiss

And with that, Messi's transition to bad-boy superstar is complete

David Ramos/Getty Images

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then why are journalists and bloggers across the world still attempting to capture and distill the brilliance of Lionel Messi in the written form? We’ve all seen the moments captured by photographers in the UEFA Champions League; Messi unwittingly jogs past the latest Mastercard advert, and the moment comes together to ironically provide us with a more succinct insight on Messi than any journalist could aspire to create.



There are so many split-second Messi moments that have been captured on film over the years, but it’s this photo, the one at the top of this page that might just be my favourite.

This is a photo that demonstrates the importance of sticking to your beliefs, following the gameplan and maintaining total confidence in yourself.

Barcelona were on the brink this afternoon at the Mestalla, and based the way that the match was unfolding, it seemed like nothing was going to go their way. They had lost Andres Iniesta to injury in the first half, lost the lead early in the second and appeared to lose their way as they approached the final stages of the game.

In this, their worst start to a season in over a decade, few would have been surprised if Barcelona had lost faith. Certainly the majority of Culés watching the match were resigned to the fact that this match was headed for another disappointing ending – but in amidst the negativity and the difficulties that Barcelona faced today, they kept believing. Even as the fourth official signalled for just two minutes of additional time, Barça didn’t panic. They didn’t rush, they didn’t force it; they just carried on playing.

The sequence of play that led to the decisive penalty was vintage Barcelona. Facing a wall of white shirts, Neymar and Messi combined in intricate fashion to scythe their way through the Valencia defense before Aymen Abdennour returned the favour with his ill-timed challenge on Suarez. Every mistake, every missed opportunity that led up to this moment could be forgotten – dependent upon the outcome of the resulting penalty kick.

Step forward Lionel Messi.

Messi may be priceless, and he is the undisputed master, but his footballing omnipotence hasn’t extended to the penalty spot with any great consistency. Cometh the hour however… even up against the greatest penalty saving goalkeeper in the game and even with Diego Alves (on a yellow card) engaging in over-the-top mind games, when the whistle was blown, it all ceased to be relevant.

Lionel Messi transcends statistics, tactics and precedent – and if you’re really lucky, once he’s done teaching you that, he might just blow you a kiss. 

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Barca Blaugranes Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Barca news from Barca Blaugranes