We saw something historic on Sunday, but history hasn’t ever scored a goal.
On Sunday, we got to witness something important. Barcelona manager Jose Enrique made a decision that will likely allow us to continue watching Lionel Messi entertain for another seven years or so. With 627 pro games on his legs, he’s likely to slow down soon, but it won’t matter if Leo’s put in a position to do as little running as possible.
This is going to change the Cristiano Ronaldo vs. Lionel Messi debate a lot, because a time will come when the former scores 10-15 more goals than the latter. It might happen this season. But will it make Ronaldo “better” than Messi?
The wackest hat trick ever
Ronaldo is awesome and no Champions League hat trick should be discounted completely. But scoring one against a team that had to sell a lot of their best players because of a war, off two penalties, one of which was earned by a dive, plus a rebound goal is pretty lame.
Still, Ronaldo’s the man designated to take the penalties for a reason, and there’s some skill involved in getting into the right positions to capitalize off parried saves.
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And any hat trick is better than no goals and no assists in a non-win, of course. But …
Watch Lionel Messi mess up a guy’s knee with his brain
I didn’t notice this at all when I saw the Luis Suarez goal live, but Leo breaking this dude’s knee and soul at the exact same time is so much better than the actual placing of the ball into the net. But Messi didn’t actually contribute to a goal in this game, and Roma pulled out a point with the best goal you are going to see anywhere.
Rafa Benitez is struggling to use Ronaldo properly
were disappointing over the weekend, barely squeaking out a 1-0 win over thanks to some heroics by in goal, as well as some poor officiating. Ronaldo was excellent in the early minutes, but didn’t play much defense. That led to Benitez swapping Ronaldo and Lucas Vazquez, which had two effects. One, Madrid got better defensively on the left. Two, Ronaldo stopped getting a lot of the ball.
But he made the most of the few touches he did get, helping to set up the winning goal. Watch the run after his pass to Isco — he would have pounced in the event of a save or block.
Even if he was static, and sulky, and handicapped by his coach, Ronaldo was ready to make a play when the opportunity popped up, and he did just that.
Welcome to the future of Messi’s career
While it might not be important in the context of deciding who had a better week, what Barcelona did with Messi on Sunday is important to the sport as a whole and will ultimately give both sets of fanboys a lot of ammo in support of their man. Barca played Messi in the center of midfield against, something that has always felt somewhat inevitable. He can’t run forever, but he will have the same touch and vision until he’s 40. This was a big game.
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