Barcelona's Lionel Messi took an illegal Champions League penalty vs AC Milan in 2011

  • Kobe Tong

Lionel Messi may have played his final Champions League game for Barcelona.

The six-time Ballon d’Or winner has produced some incredible European nights during his time in Catalonia, but happy memories in the competition have proven hard to come by in recent years.

Barcelona bottled aggregate leads against AS Roma and Liverpool in 2017/18 and 2018/19, before suffering a humiliating 8-2 defeat at the hands of Bayern Munich last season.

PSG vs Barcelona

And although this season’s exit from the Champions League was by no means as humiliating as those three calamities, we’d be lying if we said Barcelona covered themselves in glory.

Besides, by the time the Blaugrana made the trip to the Parc des Princes for the second leg, they were trailing 4-1 on aggregate after Kylian Mbappe helped himself to a Camp Nou hat-trick.

In the end, Barcelona saved face with a 1-1 draw in the French capital with Messi dropping a superb performance that featured a sizzling goal during the first-half.


Messi fluffs his lines vs PSG

But true to Barcelona’s recent woes in the Champions League, there was a difficult moment for Messi just a few minutes later as he saw his penalty deflected onto the crossbar by Keylor Navas.

It was an unfortunate bungle from the Barcelona captain that provoked jibes from rivals fans on Twitter recalling similar misses against Chelsea, Chile and Iceland.

However, given Messi’s overall class on the night, we’re inclined to take the penalty incident in a different direction because it actually reminded us of a Champions League incident in 2011.


Messi’s illegal Champions League penalty

It’s well known that Messi isn’t as deadly from penalties as you’d expect for a man with over 700 career goals and it seems as though the Barca star wanted to mix things up ten years ago.

That’s because Messi attempted a unique penalty method during Barcelona’s 3-2 win at AC Milan, stuttering the moment before kicking the ball in order to completely fool Christian Abbiati.

However, those well-versed in football laws will know that stuttering run-ups were clamped down on the year previously and Messi was duly punished in a truly bizarre Champions League moment.

You can check out the penalty down below to see exactly what happened: 

Just look at the reaction from the AC Milan players! It’s no wonder the rule was changed the year before because it’s key to protecting goalkeepers from what is essentially a penalty cheat code.

Champions League controversy

It’s clear that Abbiati was livid with Messi’s trickery and could be seen protesting to the referee, who proceeded to show Messi a yellow card, before the ball had even found the San Siro net.

However, in a rule that seems a tad generous considering Messi was openly flaunting the laws, the Barcelona superstar was allowed to retake the penalty and once again managed to convert.


So, make no mistake that missing against PSG wasn’t the first time that Messi has made headlines for shooting from 12 yards in the Champions League and we doubt it will be the last.

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