Lionel Messi played an integral role for Barcelona as they secured a vital 2-1 first-leg lead in their Champions League quarter-final clash with Spanish rivals Atletico Madrid on Tuesday night.
Luis Suarez, who grabbed both of the goals for the Catalans, may well have hogged the headlines on a controversial evening at the Camp Nou, but Messi's role throughout the game shouldn't be underestimated.
He was a constant threat - especially in the second half - and almost produced a very special moment.
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With Barca searching for a goal after Fernando Torres, who was later sent off, handed Atletico the lead, Messi attempted to replicate his former teammate Ronaldinho.
Indeed, taking the ball brilliantly on his chest, the technically gifted superstar attempted a sublime overhead kick. Unfortunately, his wonderful effort went the wrong side of the post, but it was an audacious strike nonetheless.
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Here's Messi's excellent attempt:
Ronaldinho the master
It was certainly a strike that Ronaldinho would have been proud of. The enigmatic Brazilian, who scored 70 goals in 145 La Liga outings for the Catalans, produced a number of iconic overhead kicks for the club.
As you can see in the video below, there's just no competing with Ronaldinho when it comes to overhead kicks (Zlatan Ibrahimovic may well have something to say about that, though).
Champions League progression
So will we be seeing Messi and co. in the semi-final of the competition? Well, despite Barca holding the advantage, it's safe to say that the tie is in the balance at this stage.
Atletico have the away goal, of course, and will believe that they can produce the goods in the return leg.
It must be noted, however, that Atletico could be without Filipe Luis for the second leg. The former Chelsea defender could find himself in trouble after blasting UEFA following the contest.
The experienced full-back insisted that the decision to send Torres off was 'unjust', while he claimed that Suarez should have been dismissed.
Luis stated, as per the Mirror: “The sending off is totally unjust and changed the game.
“Barcelona are protected. When you play against them you realise that they are a very powerful club.
“You realise the fear when Barcelona could get knocked out. It would hurt UEFA a lot.
“Against Real Madrid there was a similar moment [from Suarez]. I don’t know what they have to do for someone to send one of them off."
Will Barcelona secure a place in the semi-final? Have your say below!
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