Just when you thought Lionel Messi couldn't do anything else to leave with your jaw on the ground, the diminutive Argentinian produced one of the finest free-kicks of his career to help his country overcome Columbia on Wednesday night.
Stepping up when his country needed him most, Messi curled in a powerful strike from 25-yards-out in the 10th minute, setting Argentina on their way to a crucial 3-0 World Cup qualifying win.
The strike itself was virtually unstoppable. Nevertheless, Columbia may have wished they'd paid closer attention during the pre-game warm-ups because Messi produced a near exact replica of what was to come as he prepared for kick off.
With eight La Liga titles, four Champions Leagues and five Ballon d'Or's to his name, there wouldn't be many people who would disagree with the claim that you can't teach the skill and vision that Messi showcases on a weekly basis.
However, even the very best in the game need to practice to make perfect. In Messi's case, that is exactly what happened this week.
First, the actual goal that flew past Columbia's David Ospina...
A short, two-step run-up was all it required for Messi to generate the power needed to beat the Arsenal goalkeeper. Simply put, any shot-stopper in the world would have had a hard time keeping the ball out as it crashed off the underside of the crossbar.
However, Ospina would at least have been able to gamble on where Messi was going to put the stunning free-kick if he'd had the chance to spy on the Barcelona star as he went through his pre-game routine.
As you can see in the video below, Messi smashed in a virtually identical effort - complete with the crossbar being hit and a short run-up.
Granted it was a little further in, but the technique and end result is exactly the same. Now that is a master at work right there.
If there was any suggestion that Messi's goal was any type of fluke (there are some crazy people out there) then this categorically rules that out.
Messi knew exactly where he was going to place his long-range effort even before the game had begun. True class.
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