Lionel Messi hasn’t been at his world-class best so far this season.
The legendary Barcelona forward wanted to leave Camp Nou in the summer after losing faith in the club’s sporting project under president Josep Maria Bartomeu.
But he reluctantly agreed to stay for the 2020-21 campaign because he wasn’t prepared to drag Barça through the courts in order to force his exit.
It seems this unfortunate episode has affected Messi, who still hasn’t scored a goal from open play this season.
The 33-year-old is one of the greatest goalscorers we’ve ever seen but has only managed to net four penalties in nine appearances so far this term.
His latest goal from the penalty spot came in Barcelona’s 2-1 win over Dynamo Kiev on Wednesday night.
The Argentina international put his team 1-0 up from the spot in the fifth minute before Gerard Pique doubled Barça’s advantage in the second half.
Viktor Tsygankov’s 75th-minute goal, however, set up a nervy finale at Camp Nou.
But Ronald Koeman’s men held on to seal all three points. Despite their poor start to their La Liga campaign, the Catalan outfit have now won all three of their opening Champions League group stage fixtures.
We’re used to seeing videos of Messi’s brilliance going viral on social media in the aftermath of Champions League games, but it was a different story on Wednesday night.
Deep into stoppage time, as Barcelona clung onto their narrow one-goal lead, Messi simply walked and watched as midfielder Oleksandr Andrievsky ran with the ball into the hosts’ half.
Watch the clip here…
And here’s how football fans have reacted on social media…
We know Messi is getting on a bit, and this was late in the game, but you’d still expect to see a bit more effort from the forward.
If Dynamo Kiev had scored from this passage of play, Barcelona wouldn’t have had enough time to net a third goal – and it would have been Messi’s fault for allowing Andrievsky to ghost past him so easily.
Messi is known for spending a lot of his time walking during games, but you can’t excuse this lack of effort.
The six-time Ballon d’Or winner is just fortunate that, on this occasion, Dynamo Kiev were unable to score the equalising goal before full-time.
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