It is 13 years since Lionel Messi reversed the “cosmic keg” with a flat move that Diego Maradona made against England in 1986, facing from the left towards the center and leaving five rivals on the way. They were only 28 minutes old, when Barcelona beat Getafe 1-0 for the Copa del Rey. At the time, Xavi Hernandez, the excellent Catalan midfielder, became Hector “El Negro” Enrique and left it at the feet of a young Messi, who was only 19 years old and was playing his first seasons at Barcelona.
The Flea received the ball back mid-court and with the 19 on the back (not yet using number 10) faced two opponents with two moves in a row. “I saw the space and put it forward,” he declared at that time. The first “victim” was Javier Paredes, who recalled: “When Messi grabs the ball, goes with a dominated ball and confronts you, you always think the same thing… The truth is that he does what he wants with you,” in dialogue with Olé.
Once he left Paredes behind, Ignacio Pérez automatically approached to press and Messi moved the ball with the outside of his left foot to make it pass by with the included pipe. He then accelerated almost to the door of the area, where he met Alexis Ruano and without any demands left him standing, but David Belenguer, the last defender, threw himself to cut it and Messi, without the need to make an extra move, was left hand in hand with the goalkeeper.
“That man is unstoppable. All I remember is that he left the whole team and scored a real goal. It’s just that he’s scored so much that he’s getting over it… It’s a gambler madness, for me it’s the best in the world,” said Alexis Ruano, the third victim. The entire Camp Nou opened his eyes without being able to believe what they were seeing, the Argentine star had made a hellish run in which four rivals had been left in the way and was hand in hand with Count Luis García, the archer. Lio was full of the body to kick the second stick, but with a cut just he faced the goalkeeper and as he fell, he defined lifting the ball so that a defender who was throwing himself out would not be able to avoid the goal. In this note: