On Saturday night in the Copa Del Ray final Barcelona beat Athletic Bilbao 3-1. It wasn’t a surprise, however there was a moment in the game that overshadowed everything.
If the team’s ultimate goal was to win the Copa Del Ray trophy, what holds more value than that? It was Xazi’s last ever game for Barcelona, the man that was the architect behind the most successful and dominant period for club ever, what could possibly be more significant than that?
In the 20th minute of the Copa Del Ray final, Lionel Messi receives the ball on the right-hand touchline. He is instantly surrounded by three defenders, instead of cowering or passing the ball backwards, he decides he’s just going to bypass these three Bilbao players. Messi dances his way through Benat and Balenziaga, as if he was one of those children solving a rubix cube in ten seconds, then he’s gone.
In a flash he’s tearing into the box, touches the ball back inside, leaving the last defender wrong footed, and slots the ball casually into the bottom corner, past the young goalkeeper. It reminded everyone why the football world loves Messi so much. There’s almost nothing better than a player dribbling past another. His body movement and skill combine with speed and agility, leaving player after player stumped and motionless or in the worst case on his backside.
Sure Ronaldo can knock the ball past a left-back and beat him for pace but that’s not the same as facing your opponent one on one, or in Messi’s case one on three, and besting him because you’re more skillful with your touch.
In celebration of Messi’s astonishing goal in the Copa Del Ray final, here are the little Argentinian’s top 5 dribbling goals.