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WATCH: Lionel Messi’s free kick ritual, and was he hurt when he scored his hat-trick?

A closer look to his free kick brace

FC Barcelona v RC Celta de Vigo - La Liga Photo by Joan Valls/Urbanandsport /NurPhoto via Getty Images

Lionel Messi scored two free kicks in one game in Barcelona’s 4-1 triumph over Celta Vigo. The cameras captured the perfect flight of each kick, but they also captured a few details few noticed at the time.

Video from the show El Día Después showed two details that should prove quite interesting.

First, Messi’s free kick ritual. Every time he places the ball, it seems he does the most he can to get rid of the referee’s spray from the ground. Does it help the ball not stick to the ground or something? Hard to tell, although if the master does it, it must be for a reason.

Second of all, we saw Messi frequently touching his legs, possibly due to pain. However, he played all 90 minutes and is expected to feature for Argentina in their upcoming friendly against Brazil. So if he did get some discomfort, it seems to be pretty minor.

We also see in the video that he’s not quite as good with his hands as he is with his feet after he mistimed a high five with Ansu Fati, Arturo Vidal and Luis Suárez bewildered by Messi’s second free kick, and Marc-André ter Stegen discussing with the ref about a goal kick the official considered improperly taken. Have a look.

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