More than 24 hours after inspiring Barcelona to a 3-0 spanking of Bayern Munich in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League semi-final clash, Nigeria internationals and football icons across the globe have continued to create gifs and Vines to honour Lionel Messi.
With the game played at the cavernous Nou Camp ground of Barcelona looking like it was going to end in a stalemate, the Argentina captain was at his brilliant best in the late stages, scoring two supreme goals including a second that electrified the social media.
After removing the batteries from Bayern center-back, Jerome Boateng, and tossing him into the recycle bin, Messi nonchalantly dinked the ball over Manuel Neuer, the best goalkeeper in the world, to score the second of his two goals for Barca.
The awesomeness of his mesmerizing moves and magical feats have not ceased to elicit reactions from Super Eagles players, past and present, and world acclaimed soccer stars. Hull City midfielder, Sone Aluko, said: ‘’He made Boateng lie down on his own accord.
He fell down like he dropped his phone and didn’t want the screen to smash!! Messi is rude!! ‘’That was like falling in love with football again age 5! An absolute joy to watch that Barca team and Messi!!’’ Elderson Echiejile, the Monaco defender, said: ‘’You always can’t take your eyes off champions league moments! Absolute brilliance from Messi.’’
‘’What a performance from Messi and crew against a highly tactical disciplined Manuel Neuer led Bayern who put up a brilliant performance,’’ said a former Super Eagles captain, Austin ‘Jay-Jay’ Okocha.
Ex-Barcelona striker, Thierry Henry, has said Messi is impossible to stop after watching his former teammate against Bayern Munich.
He said: “Messi is just superb. He wanted to win that game and he did it again. You just give him the ball around the box and the rest is history.
“I have seen him doing stuff in training and it is just amazing. When he gets upset, he runs around the whole team. There is nothing you can do.”
According to a fromer Dutch international, Patrick Kluivert, “He (Messi) really is from a different Planet. Even if u are supporting another team u have to admit this”, while Gary Lineker, a former England striker, said, “It’s such a joy to watch Messi.
The greatest!” Former AC Milan and Italy coach Arrigo Sacchi has branded Barcelona forward Lionel Messi “a true footballing genius” after his performance.
Messi’s two goals against Bayern take his tally to 10 in the current Champions League campaign.