Lionel Messi's goal against Bayern Munich: Where does it rank?
By Adam Bate
Last Updated: 07/05/15 11:30am
Lionel Messi produced another masterclass to help Barcelona to a 3-0 victory over Bayern Munich in Wednesday's Champions League semi-final first leg in the Nou Camp. Was this latest effort his best in the Champions League?
Messi opened the scoring with a thumping strike from outside the box and grabbed the assist for Neymar's stoppage-time strike too.
However, it was his second goal that had everyone talking as he left Jerome Boateng slumped on the ground before lofting the ball over the great Manuel Neuer with his right foot.
"He was up against the best one-on-one goalkeeper in the world and he made him look a fool," said Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville. "He put Jerome Boateng on his backside and it was a brilliant bit of play."
This was high-class Messi magic but it’s not the first time he’s left the world stunned by his magical feet. He's done it time and time again. Here are our Champions League top five prior to the latest wonder goal...
No.5 -- Barcelona v Bayer Leverkusen, March 2012
Messi had already scored twice against Bayer Leverkusen when Cesc Fabregas put him through against Bernd Leno. The young goalkeeper had no chance. Messi lobbed the ball over him right-footed for his eighth hat-trick of the season en route to scoring five goals in a 7-1 home win.
No.4 -- Barcelona v Lyon, March 2009
Picking the ball up on the right flank, Messi ghosted past three defenders before played a quick one-two with Samuel Eto'o and stroking the ball beyond Hugo Lloris into the far corner of the net. The 5-2 win saw Barca progress to the quarter-finals of a tournament they would win two months later.
No.3 -- Barcelona v Stuttgart, March 2010
After a 1-1 draw in Germany, this knockout tie was evenly poised before Messi intervened. Running at pace in the right channel, he accelerated away from several opposition players before unleashing a fierce 20-yard strike with his left foot to beat Jens Lehmann. Barca went on to win 4-0.
No.2 -- Barcelona v Panathinaikos, September 2010
Having already scored and hit the crossbar, Messi produced a magical moment that showcased his extraordinary close control. Picking up an inside pass from Dani Alves, he fashioned two inch-perfect wall-passes – working one-twos with Xavi and Pedro – before firing home on the way to a 5-1 win.
No.1 -- Real Madrid v Barcelona, April 2011
Messi found the breakthrough in an ugly semi-final between the great rivals, but his second was a thing of beauty. Picking up the ball inside the Real half, he showed pace and skill to dance away from four opposition players before slotting past Iker Casillas.
He was up against the best one-on-one goalkeeper in the world and he made him look a fool.
And the latest…
Such are Messi’s standards and the quality of that 2011 Clasico effort, it’s debatable whether Wednesday’s wizardry was even his best goal in the first leg of a Champions League semi-final.
Nevertheless, Messi continues to add chapter after chapter to his extraordinary body of work. Where will his latest goal rank in his Champions League career? Perhaps the truth is that it’s too early to say… Lionel Messi is not done yet.
Watch Messi in action for Barcelona at home to Real Sociedad on Sky Sports 5 HD on Saturday evening, with coverage underway from 5.15pm.