World Cup Russia 2018

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Messi.

Lionel Messi produced a moment of magic from the ground against Sporting Lisbon

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Having reached the age of 30, there are a growing number of young players waiting to take the crown from Lionel Messi.

Neymar left Barcelona just so that he could leave Messi’s shadow and boost his chances of winning the Ballon d’Or.

Behind the Brazilian wait Kylian Mbappe, Marco Asensio, Marcus Rashford and Ousmane Dembele, all of whom are under the age of 21 and appear destined for the top.

But don’t think Messi will relinquish his title so willingly.

The Argentinian has made a blistering start to the season, scoring 12 goals in all competitions and firing Barcelona to the top of La Liga.

It would appear that he’s playing with an added determination after losing the Ballon d’Or to Cristiano Ronaldo last December and watching Real Madrid win the Spanish title and the Champions League.

And it's just what Ernesto Valverde needs after losing Ousmane Dembele to injury and watching Luis Suarez make a slow start to the season.

Messi produced a moment of magic

Messi was relatively quiet in Barcelona's 1-0 win over Sporting Lisbon in the Champions League last night but he reminded everyone of his talents with an audacious moment in the second half.

Heading nowhere with the ball, Messi fell to the floor after being pushed by a Sporting player.

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Most in that situation would pick up the ball, turn to the referee and demand a free-kick. Not Messi.

On the floor, he flicked the ball up and scooped it over his opponent.

To have the vision to pull something like that off is so impressive. It happens in the blink of an eye, too.

Fans on Twitter couldn't believe what they had just witnessed.

Valverde: We're not boring

Entertainment at its finest. Yet Valverde had to respond to claims his Barcelona side aren't as fun to watch as previous Barça teams after the win.

"Everyone is free to say what they want," Valverde said, per ESPN. "I don't get bored - especially not when we win.

"There are times when you win in an exciting way, scoring lots of goals, and then there are other times when you have to suffer to win. That's how it is.

"We knew that in order to win here we would have to suffer against strong opposition. I think we began the game in a determined manner.

Let's be honest, Barcelona can never be boring with Messi in the side.

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How does this Barcelona team compare in entertainment to the ones that have come before it? Let us know in the comments section below!

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Topics:
Football
UEFA Champions League
Lionel Messi
Barcelona
Luis Suarez
La Liga
Andres Iniesta

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