Barcelona’s Lionel Messi shines on wet and windy night against Celta Vigo

  • Rob Swan

Could Lionel Messi do it on a cold, wet and windy night?

This is the daft question that more than a few football fans have asked down the years when debating whether Messi would be a success in English football.

The question is often ended with the words ‘in Stoke’ – as if performing on a horrible night at the Britannia Stadium is the ultimate indicator of whether a footballer is world class or not.

We’ll probably never find out if Messi could produce the goods at Stoke, but we do know that he *can* shine in horrible conditions.

On Thursday night, Barcelona sealed a comfortable 3-0 victory away at Celta Vigo’s Balaidos stadium – a ground where the Catalan outfit have struggled at times in recent seasons.

And the weather conditions were absolutely atrocious.

The heavens opened and the wind almost knocked down the corner flags at times, leaving the players looking thoroughly uncomfortable.

But despite the weather, Messi produced a typically virtuoso display.

The legendary forward didn’t get himself on the scoresheet, but he did play a key role in both of Barça’s second-half goals.

The in-form Ansu Fati put the visitors 1-0 up in the 11th minute with a superb finish. Barcelona then doubled their lead early in the second half when Messi slalomed his way into the Celta penalty area before his cross was turned past goalkeeper Ivan Villar by Celta defender Lucas Olaza.

Messi continued working right up until the final minute, and another moment of individual brilliance from the Argentine saw Sergi Roberto add gloss to the scoreline.

The 33-year-old, who wanted to leave Camp Nou over the summer, beat two opponents with a beautiful piece of skill before forcing a save from Villar.

The ball rebounded to Roberto, who lashed the ball into the back of the net.

Messi’s genius always shines through, whatever the weather.

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