Last night, Leo Messi and Luis Suarez offered a tremendous and rare penalty kick against Celta, as the former pushed the ball for the latter to score. Unseen since Cruyff...
Who thought the All-Star Weekend was only reserved for the United States of America and Canada? Certainly not Barça's players. The Blaugranas put on a show last night against Celta Vigo for the closure of La Liga's Day 24 (6-1). More than the overall performance, that was tremendous especially in the second half, people over the world were amazed by the boldness of the penalty kick Leo Messi and Luis Suarez took on the 4-1 goal. The Argentine just pushed the ball on his right with his left foot, and Suarez finished the work, beating a stunned Sergio Álvarez. A goal already in history, as a direct tribute to a former Blaugrana, the Dutch legend Johan Cruyff, who had suceeded as well in a similar yet slightly more complicated attempt against Helmond Sport in a 5-0 win with Ajax in Eredivisie. At the time, Cruyff passed the ball to his teammate, Jesper Olsen, who gave him back and Cruff scored an incredible one-two penalty kick. It was in 1982. 34 years later, the world was struck again with an prodigious image. And global press was not unsensitive about it. Here are some comments on this out-of-this-world goal in the main newspapers of the planet.
Argentina - Olé
In Argentina, Leo is very oftenly referred to by the local newspaper Olé. Sometimes in good, others not so much. After the goal he offered to Luis Suarez on a penalty kick that could have been the 300th goal of his career, Messi was praised for his selflessness and Olé talked about "Leo's strangest penalty kick". "This time Messi and Barcelona, beyond the large win, left their mark with a Cruyff-like penalty kick from another time" A footprint in football's history to sum up Barça's current dominance in European football.
England - The Guardian
In England, The Guardian insisted on the "style" Barça used to overcome Celta Vigo. As well as on Leo Messi and Luis Suárez's mischief. According to the British newspaper, "The Uruguay striker completed his hat-trick in an outrageous fashion." A hat-trick Leo Messi handed "on a plate" they added.
France - L'Equipe
The French only sports daily referred to Messi and Suarez's penalty as a "masterpiece". "The Argentine passed the ball to the Uruguayan and FC Barcelona's forwards succeeded where Pires and Henry failed eleven years ago", they added. Obviously, they're talking about the Gunners' try in a Premier League game against Manchester City, failed because Pirès had not pushed the ball in front of the penalty spot. The French newspaper also put the videos of last night's goal and Cruyff's one in 1982. They finally mention that the "paternity" of the gesture goes back to 1957 and a goal from Belgian Rik Coppens in a game against Iceland.
Italy - La Gazetta dello Sport
The Italian newspaper emphasises on Messi's role in turning a tense first half into a goal fest in the second, offering assits to his teammates without flinching, and a gift to Suárez on the penalty, saying that "The Uruguyan gets a hat-trick in the 81th minute, when Messi stuns everyone as he passed the ball instead of kicking it into the net." Yet, they also mention the controversy as the goal may have had to be denied. "The starting position of Suárez generates doubts about the legality of the penalty", they add.
United States - Bleacher Report
American online newspaper Bleacher Report mentioned an "outrageous penalty routine" who set Luis Suárez up on the 4-1 penalty kick. "In the 81st minute, Messi won a penalty when he was felled in the areRather than reach that milestone, however, the Argentinian seflessly laid the ball off for Suárez - who completed the Cruyff-Olsen routine that Robert Pirès and Thierry Henry famously botched.a and looked set to convert it for his 300th La Liga goal. Rather than reach that milestone, however, the Argentinian selflessly laid the ball off for Suárez - who completed the Cruyff-Olsen routine that Robert Pirès and Thierry Henry famously botched." Although they mention the controversy around Suárez's position at the moment the ball was hit by Messi, they defend the beauty of the game by saying "let's not take nothing away from this audacious moment!"
United States - ESPN
At ESPN, although journalists have take into account the beauty of last night's penalty, talking about a "memorable penalty routine", they insisted it wasn't "the first of its kind." The page is then filled with videos from past attempts, from Belgian Rik Coppens to French Arsenal duo Pirès & Henry. However, ESPN say "it was a breathtaking piece of play from Luis Enrique's side" and that "this goal is sured to be played for years to come and goes down as one of the sport's most memorable penalties."
Germany - Bild
Instead of kicking the ball straight to goal, Messi touched the ball slightly. It rolled a little bit forward. Luis Suárez (29) appeared from behind, attacked and sent the ball into the goal. 4-1, what a true work of art!
But not only the fans were amazed by Messi. Even his FC Barcelona teammates were astonished.