‘Absolutely ridiculous’: Internet gushes as Messi finishes sublime team goal in Barca rout (VIDEO)
Trailing 2-0 from the first leg, Barca annihilated Sevilla at the Nou Camp, romping home to a 6-1 win – and 6-3 aggregate victory – thanks to a double from Philippe Coutinho and goals from Ivan Rakitic, Sergi Roberto, Luis Suarez and a stoppage-time effort from Messi.
The Argentine magician’s was arguably the pick of the lot, capping a flowing team move that had Messi at its inception and ultimate execution.
Picking the ball up near the halfway line, the Barca number 10 dinked a long ball out wide to Arturo Vidal.
The Chilean then laid the ball off to Coutinho, who played a one-two with defender Gerard Pique, before squaring the ball across the box, where it was flicked on by Jordi Alba.
Bursting onto the scene, Messi was there to meet it, taking a touch with his fabled left foot to maneuver some space before slotting home.
Sometimes Barcelona’s excellence almost becomes mundane, and then they go and score a goal like this. pic.twitter.com/LVhDAvjVLF— FootballJOE (@FootballJOE) January 30, 2019
It was the best of the bunch for Barca – and had the pundits purring at Messi’s individual brilliance and the Catalans’ collective class.
Former Barcelona and England striker-turned-TV pundit Gary Lineker – never one to hid his affection for Messi – shared a clip of the goal and tweeted ‘No esta mal’ to his 7.2 million followers, which translates as ‘not bad.’
Just saw @FCBarcelona’s 6th a final goal in their Cup semi-final win against Sevilla. Sparkling move finished off by Messi. 👏👏— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) January 30, 2019
It was Messi’s 10th goal in eight games, and left other football fans bathing in the light of the Argentine’s glory.
One person claimed there are two types of people in the world: those who recognize that Messi is the GOAT, and liars.
There are two kinds of people:1) There are people who say Messi is the GOAT.2) And there are liars.— Stefan Sirucek (@sirstefan) January 31, 2019
Messi passed the ball on half way line... and ended up scoring the goal ❤️— Ger Losty (@TheLostyFamily) January 31, 2019
Just enjoy it because this genius isn't going to be around forever.— Adam Grocott (@adamgrocott33) January 30, 2019
That was a wonderful goal. Somewhere, the late Johan Cruyff would be smiling.— Steve Adams (@Nursedudesteve) January 30, 2019
They all knew the 🐐 would be there somewhere.— Simon Revell (@revchenko7) January 30, 2019
What a lovely goal, how football should be played— Mason Stolycia (@masonstolycia) January 30, 2019
Others continued to mock Messi’s contentious fifth place in the Ballon d’Or list, which seems even more debatable given his performances this season as he has already scored 26 goals across all competitions.
But but but he is the 5th best player in the world,lol— ggmu (@bra_kwakusavage) January 30, 2019
Barca’s comprehensive win against Sevilla – which was a repeat of last year's final, which Messi and co also won – overturned their first leg deficit and put them into the Copa del Rey semifinals for a ninth consecutive season.
Messi also won plaudits for a remarkable display of team spirit earlier in the game when, after winning a penalty, he handed spot-kick duties to under-fire teammate Coutinho.
The Brazilian has been criticized for some underwhelming displays since his €160 million (US$183 million) move to the Catalan giants from Liverpool a year ago, with Messi even being accused of refusing to pass to him.
Coutinho duly dispatched the penalty in the 13th minute to give Barca a 1-0 lead on Wednesday night, setting them on their way to a thumping win.
With a scoring streak like that on the line, he also gave a penalty away. Unbelievable guy. Only right that he gets his goal in the end :)— barcelonerd 🖐️ (@barcelonerd) January 30, 2019
Leo Messi just handed Philippe Coutinho the penalty to put Barcelona 1-0 up in their Copa del Rey quarterfinal because he's had a tough start to the season and needs a goal. 🐐— The House of Football (@Football_Casa) January 30, 2019
Messi really gave the penalty to Coutinho to boost his confindence ugh my captain pic.twitter.com/qNKW1GhlNE— julio olmedo stan acc (@LeosCuccittini) January 30, 2019
Next up for Barca and Messi are Valencia in La Liga on Saturday, when the Catalans will be aiming to maintain their five-point lead at the top of the table.