Referee Mateu Lahoz apologized for ruling out a good Lionel Messi goal that would have given FC Barcelona the La Liga title in 2014, according to Elvio Paolorosso, who was part of Tata Martino’s staff at Barça.
“Messi scored a goal that would have given us the title and the referee ruled it out,” he told TNT Sports. ”We were crying in the dressing room and the referee came to apologize.”
Barcelona needed a win to secure the trophy, and with the score at 1-1, the Catalans would have only needed one more goal to snatch it away from Atlético Madrid - if they could hold onto the hypothetical 2-1 lead.
Messi scored but it was ruled out for offside, despite the fact the ball was actually played by a defender. An attacking player who receives the ball from a defending player making a deliberate play on the ball is not offside.
Paolorosso admitted that it was “a difficult year.”
He began a laundry list of complaints that included a severe injury to starting keeper Victor Valdés and legal issues for club president Sandro Rosell:
“We only had one good keeper and he broke his ligaments; the president of the club ended up in jail; Messi’s problem, whether he’d go to jail or not; they told Tata he would finish his recovery; Gerard Piqué had a fissure in his pelvis; Neymar broke his knee just after arriving...”