Following Barcelona’s late 3-0 demolition of Bayern Munich in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League semifinal on Wednesday, Luis Enrique was waxing lyrical about Lionel Messi.
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Barca’s Argentine superstar became the highest goalscorer in Champions League history as he netted his 76th and 77th UCL goals in the final 15 minutes of Barcelona’s victory over Bayern.
Messi’s second was a thing of beauty (watch it here and hit repeat, many times) as he skipped past Jerome Boateng with ease and dinked the ball over Manuel Neuer to make Bayern look ordinary. That’s what he does best. He makes top class defenders and goalkeepers look ordinary and helpess each and every game.
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After Barca’s victory, which gives them one foot in the UCL final in Berlin on June 6, Messi’s genius was lauded around the planet. But according to his manager at Barcelona, Messi is not only from another planet… he is from another dimension.
“Without any doubt life is easier with Leo,” Enrique said. “It is a pleasure to see him for you every three days, we see him every day. He is a player from another dimension. But as well as what we saw from Leo, and in attack, I would point to work by everyone — we had to be a very good team today, as we knew how difficult the game would be. It was very balanced for many minutes, then we were very effective. But I think we created many more chances than opponent.”
Enrique’s Barcelona looked to be running out of ideas late on against Bayern at the Nou Camp on Wednesday as the German champions would have gladly left Catalonia with a 0-0 draw. But then, as he often does, Barca’s alien genius stepped up and changed the game with two magical moments in three minutes.
It will be a shame when Messi has to retire some day. But good news: he is still only 27. Plus, the DVD of his career highlights when it’s all over may one of the most beautiful pieces of art the soccer world has ever seen.