Lionel Messi was at his imperial best on Saturday night as he helped Barcelona navigate past Napoli into the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
The Blaugrana’s captain scored a stunning solo goal that left many fans scratching their heads, wondering exactly how he did it.
Messi slalomed his way past three players before stumbling to the floor, getting back up again and squeezing his shot past two more defenders into the far corner.
It really was incredible, but it’s something we’ve become accustomed to seeing from the Argentine magician.
But his latest effort did get us thinking… where does it rank amongst the greatest solo strikes he’s produced during a brilliant career?
Here at GIVEMESPORT, we’ve decided to rank seven of his best – and yes – the strike against Napoli features.
So let’s get into it.
7. Valencia (2010/11)
Let’s start with a goal he scored a decade ago against Valencia.
Messi picks the ball up on the right side, dances away from three players, cuts inside and beats the goalkeeper at his near post.
6. Athletic Bilbao (2012/13)
Four players aren’t enough to stop Messi this time.
He beats the first with pace, checks back to skip past the second, before dragging the ball past another two and firing low into the far corner.
Simply majestic. Enjoy Ray Hudson’s commentary below too. ‘Pure footballing magic that belongs in a different galaxy altogether!’
5. Napoli (2019/20)
A goal so good we might as well describe it twice.
With the pressure on – at the end of a rather disappointing Barcelona season, Messi drags his team to the next stage of the Champions League with another moment of magic.
Just remember – there are five players around him – and none of them can get to the ball first. Madness.
4. Athletic Bilbao (2014/15)
This one is simply astonishing – and it came in the Copa del Rey final too.
Messi starts just inside the opposition half and beats three players down the line before getting inside the box.
There, he cuts back past a fourth and smashes the ball in at the near post. It’s one of the greatest cup final goals you’ll ever see.
3. Bayern Munich (2014/15)
Messi will go head-to-head with Bayern Munich’s Jerome Boateng in the Champions League quarter-finals on Friday night.
The German defender will still be having nightmares about the way he was humiliated back in 2015.
Messi quite literally sits Boateng down before cheekily chipping the ball over Manuel Neuer to send the Blaugrana well on their way to that season’s final. Magnificent.
2. Real Madrid (2010/11)
Arguably the best part of this goal is Sergio Busquets simply rolling Messi the ball inside Real Madrid’s half and saying ‘go and do what you have to do’.
Boy, did he. The Argentine humiliates five players en-route to goal, before slipping the ball past a helpless Iker Casillas.
It’s an effort worthy of a standing ovation in any stadium bar the one he scored it in – but we bet there were still a few fans on their feet in the Bernabeu anyway…
1. Getafe (2006/07)
It’s almost impossible to justify this goal with words, that’s how good it is.
Messi’s greatest solo effort of them all came way back in the 2006/07 season – and it helped establish him as the greatest in Europe, even at 19.
Just sit back and enjoy.
So, it’s fair to say Messi has scored some solo screamers during his career but for us, nothing will ever beat that Getafe goal.
The speed, strength, balance and composure to run half the field and beat half the team before slotting the ball in is simply legendary.
We need to simply admire the Argentine magician while we still can. He’s 33-years-old now and time is ticking away.
Expect him to produce some more incredible moments before he’s done – but we wonder if he’ll ever be able to top some of these stunning solo efforts.
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