The fact Leo Messi has managed to put his name on the Olympus as one of the best footballers of all time is since many years ago beyond question. But apart from his goals, assists and the football the Argentine genius generates around him, there are many other aspects that make him special within the game’s history. Messi’s team spirit is a feature that has made him transcend the simple category of football virtuous player to become into the absolute leader of Futbol Club Barcelona and Argentina's National Team.
Last Saturday the Rosario genius showed again his collective sense at the Copa del Rey Final against Sevilla, in which Barça obtained their all-time 30th. trophy in the competition as they outclassed their rivals. in the middle of an enormous football exhibition, Ernesto Valverde’s team, whose superiority had been reflected in a 4-0 difference over the Andalusians after 60 minutes played, was about to find a new goal in Philippe Coutinho’s boots. After a clinical one-two play with Luis Suárez, Coutinho beat David Soria with a first touch. however, Barça’s fifth goal didn’t go to the score as the referee Jesús Gil Manzano had given a penalty for a Lenglet’s hand-ball. It was there when the Argentine, official penalty taker, decided to hand over the chance to the Brazilian so he could crystallise his effort on the score-shit at the Estadio Wanda Metropolitano. The former Liverpool player beat Soria again and Barcelona confirmed their 5-0 definitive lead.
In the voracity ages we live, in which looks like if every goal no matter how insignificant it is, helps to grow the legend of the best players in the planetary stage, gestures as the Leo Messi one with Coutinho exalt footballers and vindicate the spirit of the greatest sport on earth.
This is not the first time Messi gives a penalty to a teammate. In Neymar’s time at Barça, Messi gave the Brazilian ten shots from the spot, five of them transformed in goal, and gave other five to Luis Suárez, who found the back of the net in three occasions.
It will be specially remembered in sports history the two-touch penalty starred by Messi and Suárez against Celta de Vigo in the 24th. Round of LaLiga 2015-16. When everybody thought Messi was about to shoot, he subtly touched the ball direction right and the Uruguayan appeared to sign his hat-trick with gold letters against a surprised Sergio Álvarez. It was a goal that meant much more than the transitory 4-1 of a match that would eventually end with a goal festival for Luis Enrique’s team at that time.
The final score of that match (6-1) was minimised to a simple statistic alongside the greatness of Messi’s and Suárez’ tribute to Johan Cruyff, who had made a similar play with his Ajax teammate Jesper Olsen in a Dutch league match against Helmond Sport, on December 5th., 1982.
For official matters the assist to Suárez from the spot was the 18th. penalty missed in Messi’s career. However, that brilliant play will stay eternally in the football mind as the last great homage paid in life to the legendary Flying Dutchman, who passed away on Wednesday March 24th., 2016, victim of lung cancer.