Lionel Messi 'totally lacked class' and should apologise after passing his penalty against Celta Vigo on Sunday, according to ex-Republic of Ireland international Eamon Dunphy.
With the Catalans in cruise control at the Camp Nou, the Argentine superstar opted to pass his penalty to Luis Suarez instead of taking a shot.
Ultimately, the plan worked out for Barca as enigmatic forward Suarez slotted the ball home with ease.
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However, Dunphy has hit out at Messi, claiming that he let himself down. In truth, Messi's decision to pass the ball forward has divided the world of football - some see it as a moment of genius while others believe it showed a lack of respect.
Dunphy certainly wasn't impressed with Messi and hit out at him following the incident.
"It totally lacked class," Dunphy told RTE, as per Goal.com. "You have to respect your opponents and you have to respect the game and the history of the game.
"None of the great players of the past would’ve ever dreamt of doing anything like that. Everyone who loves football loves Messi and he let himself down big time.
"He let the game down, he should apologise and he should be reprimanded by his coach. You don’t mess with the game. It’s sacrosanct.
"The spirit of the game, you respect your fellow professionals and your opponents.
"No matter how good you are you’re not bigger than the game. He owes it to the opponents, to the fans and to the people who love him and who have made him rich and famous."
But football's for the fans
It's easy to understand why Dunphy took offence to Messi's penalty, but he has probably gone slightly over the top on this occasion.
Ultimately, fans want to see the best players expressing themselves on the field of play. Everyone inside the Camp Nou would have left the stadium talking about the incident.
The likes of Messi, Suarez and Neymar are three of the greatest players in world football right now, so fans, pundits and rivals should expect the unexpected.
The notion that Messi's pass was against the spirit of the game may not be entirely correct. The Argentine once again entertained the world and should be admired for his brilliance.
The majority will embrace it, but you can't please everyone...
One thing is for sure, ahead of the return of the Champions League, Arsenal fans will be very worried by the prospect of playing Messi and co.
The Gunners are going fairly well in the Premier League - they currently sit in third position in the division - but they will have to be at their very best to match Enrique's side.
What did you make of Messi's penalty? Have your say below!
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