Messi is the king of El-Clasico, and why not? He’s the all-time top scorer of Clasico with a total of 26 goals. And, every time he scored in El-Clasico game, he would end up adding a unique taste to it; a little bit of flavour that would make it extra special. It’s almost impossible to pick few from the Lionel Messi’s best El-Clasico moments. Still, in this editorial review, our editors have come up with their own choice for Lionel Messi’s Best El- Clasico moments.
“The Lionel Messi Match”
The El-Clasico of March 2007 is one of the games even Leo Messi himself will never forget. The 19-year-old Messi started alongside Ronaldinho and Eto’o in the biggest football rivalry, with Rijkaard playing a 3-4-3 with Messi to the right of Eto’o and Dinho on the other flank. Real Madrid started with the trio of Higuain, Nistelrooy and Raul in their attacking 3, playing 4-3-3.
At around 5 minutes, a sublime cross from Higuain deflected and fell sweetly to Nistelrooy who calmly shot it towards the far post. Victor Valdes had no chance of saving it; it was well placed. Barcelona looked quite exposed at the back.
At the 11th min mark, Eto’o moved towards the left flank to create an overload, playing a quick one-two before switching the play towards the right, where Messi had ample space and time to finish. The 19-year-old had scored and equalised, something which he’ll repeatedly do till the end of the match.
The game was not short of drama in any means. Real Madrid struck back as Barcelona conceded a penalty. It was Nistelrooy once again, and Barcelona now has to equalise for the second time in the game so far.
The Messiah showed up again as a deflected ball bounced toward him, this time Leo went for power and volleyed it high and scored even though Real Madrid had managed to get three defenders on the goal line. Leo Messi has equalised again, and the 19-year-old had already made a statement. Camp nou erupted, and the chants of “Messi Messi” echoed around the stadium. But it wasn’t the end of the show yet.
Sergio Ramos headed one in, in the 73rd minute to give Real the lead again, from a Guti freekick from the far right and Barcelona were once again in the back seat.
Leo had been involved very frequently in build-ups and was having a really good game, constantly providing outlets and creating chances.
In the 91st min, A ball from the deep by Dinho, which seemed more like an act of haste, with the game slipping away from Barcelona’s hands, saw Messi receive the pass while being surrounded by three odd defenders and create space out of nowhere with his exquisite first touch only to follow it by leaving two more defenders for dead and magically finishing it with a low driven shot towards the far bottom corner.
Leo Messi that night had made his mark in the biggest rivalry and had clearly sent messages to the world of Football that this was an entire era in the making.
Messi’s Best El-Clasico Moments of All Time
85 mins, James Rodriguez equalises, Bernabeu jumps in joy, the game that would be decisive; the game, Barca needed to win at any cost to keep their fight alive seemed like it would slip from their hand. Scoreline 2-2, and Some mere 2 mins more to play, no one had imagined in their wildest fantasy that it would turn around.
Then, That run from Roberto, then to Gomez, who waits for support. Then to the overlapping Alba. Then, that cutback rolls to Messi who comes out of nowhere to sweep the ball to Navas from 15 wards to win the game and keep the title race alive.
Messi was fouled on multiple occasions in that game as usual. Casemiro was tired on trying out Messi, Marcelo had elbowed him making Messi drip blood, Ramos was already sent off. Messi was relentlessly trying.
We don’t see Messi getting angry every day; he would rather be frustrated but not angry. But, in this game, he was getting angrier and angrier, he wanted to score so badly.
When Messi scored that goal, he probably was amazed by himself; Fans at Bernabeu covered their eyes in horror and disbelief, we fans were in starstruck awe; Zidane was stunned, and then Messi lifted his shirt in front of those fans out there. Some fans were left numb, some fans were angry, some fans were showing fingers at Messi.
But, Messi, he was just living that moment; that beast Messi was unleashed and unconcerned; he didn’t even care a bit about that yellow card that came afterwards.
That scene at Bernabeu, those agonised and devastated Madrid players and those bitterly numb Madrid fans, that moment I realised, this is what Football gives us and particularly that guy Lionel Messi gives us.
There certainly wasn’t a better way than that one to reach his 500 goals milestone. Like Ray, Hudson says, “Welcome to Lionel’s world, Where the insane becomes predictable.” Arguably, one of the best El-Clasico moment of any player of all time.
Demolition of the Bernabeu
‘Lionel freaking Messi’, ‘Messi just humiliated Real Madrid’ these were the words almost everyone around the footballing globe were saying after the Bernabeu demolition. Before this, the footballing world saw magic in Messi, but it was somewhat in parts due to his frequent injuries.
The day before the Bernabeu match, Pep is sitting in his office analysing Madrid. He observes something. It’s 10 pm, and he quickly rings Messi to arrive at his office. Little did the world knew that Messi and Pep were renewing the old False nine concept and were about to cause terror.
The match starts, Pep gives the nod and Messi shifts to the centre with Henry and Eto’o on either wing. Messi receives the ball and chips it to Henry and Henry scores the equaliser. Slowly and slowly, Messi goes on to create as many dangerous chances as possible.
Messi went on to record two goals and one assist throughout the night. The magician was chipping balls over, giving through pass and whatnot. The excellent ball retention timed passes, quick one-touch passes all led to bury Madrid to the ground.
It was pure destruction of the ultimate rivals of Barcelona. One small tactical adjustment resulted in a scoreline which will be remembered for decades to come. If we see that Barcelona team then no other player could have mastered the False nine role like Messi. Messi just fitted right into that role which gave him much-needed freedom to roam and dictate the games and the defensive line.