Bengaluru, December 3: A couple of days before collecting his record sixth men's Ballon d'Or trophy, Lionel Messi showed glimpses of brilliance by netting Barcelona's all-important winner against Atletico Madrid which extended their stay at the top of La Liga.
A match quite tough on each plot of the field, and that was only unbalanced four minutes from the end by Messi, who confirmed his status as one of the best players in the world.
The goal by the Argentinian in the last moments of the game earned three points that allowed Barcelona to keep the leadership in the table.
It also meant that the number '10' could fulfill his pending challenge at the Wanda Metropolitano.
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As it was the only stadium in La Liga where he had not scored yet. An atypical anomaly for a player who has broken all color and condition marks throughout his career.
Messi scored a whopping eight times at Atleti's old Vicente Calderon stadium but it yet to score at the stadium in the league since Los Rojiblancos moved to their new home back in 2017.
Even when he got it in the Copa del Rey 2018 final against Sevilla, but not yet in the domestic championship against the colchonero team... until this Sunday.
Twenty from twenty
So, now Messi can finally cross out this stadium from his list of 'victims'. Twenty from twenty, including the Camp Nou, obviously. His happy hunting ground over the years has been Sevilla's Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan (12 goals) and Real Madrid's Santiago Bernabeu (11 goals).
His tally at the remaining current top-flight stadiums: 10 - Ciutat de Valencia (Levante UD); 9 - Mestalla (Valencia CF); 8 - Ipurua (SD Eibar); 7 - El Sadar (CA Osasuna), Benito Villamarin (Real Betis); 6 - Son Moix (RCD Mallorca), Estadio de la Ceramica (Villarreal CF), Coliseum Alfonso Perez (Getafe CF); 4 - RCDE Stadium (RCD Espanyol), Reale Arena (Real Sociedad); 3 - Nuevo Los Carmenes (Granada CF), Mendizorrotza (D. Alaves); 2 - San Mames (Athletic Club), Butarque (CD Leganes), Abanca Balaidos (RC Celta), Jose Zorrilla (Real Valladolid).
Likewise, Messi's goal against Atletico contained great symbolism for how it was generated. With the classic action of the Argentinian starting from the wing in the midfield, and scoring close to the box with a soft shot to the opposite stick from where he started.
An action seen again and again in the number '10' career, but few defenders manage to abort it even when they study it.
Bonding with Suarez
Argentinian and Uruguayan 'created' an unlimited company. Even when they have been together for many years and they have shown their compatibility on the grass, they are still able to repeat that same action successfully ahead the opposite goal.
Totally, they have already built 77 goals between them for FC Barcelona, among all competitions. Messi's best assistant is Suarez (42 passes), and vice versa: Suarez's best assistant is Messi (35). Just last week, this couple produced three of the four goals for FC Barcelona, against Borussia Dortmund (3-1) and Atletico.
(With MSL Media inputs)