08 April 2010


Here's a goal you may have seen once or twice before. The second replay here is my favourite way to watch it, because you get to properly see the two best parts. First: the way that, after Messi beats the first set of challenges and sprints into the space behind, the defenders converge on where they wish he was, a panicked swarm which contrasts with the second, better, delight: once Messi is through on the keeper, he not only slows down but seems to switch into another mode altogether. He's just legged it for fifty yards, dodged two lunging tackles and is about to face the ultimate moment of this already extraordinary passage, and he looks — just for a second or two — as if he's all alone, nowheres in particular, doing nothing special. A football game is a swirling sequence of pockets of space expanding and contracting; the energy spent in trying to shut these spaces down makes their serial exploitation a pressing concern, a ferociously difficult task. And the penalty area is, of course, the most fiercely defended patch on the field. The not-incorrect but humdrum explanation for this moment (hah! humdrum!) might be that he was facilitating his next move — fucking with the keeper's head, essentially. And I'm sure that there is some stuff about how elite athletes experience time differently to merely excellent ones that would fit just nicely here. But when I recall this goal, this is the moment I think of: when Messi created a bubble apart from what surrounded him before returning to our world.


Linda 8/4/10 3:19 AM  

You know, I've seen this goal probably a hundred times. You've just given me a new way of looking at it. Thanks.

Webbie @ Football and Music 8/4/10 2:53 PM  

Wasn't this his homage to Maradona ? Looking at that run up and goal it certainly looks similar to THAT goal that his current boss scored back in '86.

Ah if only he was like CRonaldo and saving his goals for the World Cup...

(P.S-> He's not the messiah, he's just a very talented boy)

Fredorrarci 9/4/10 1:05 AM  

Linda: You're welcome.

Webbie: Aye, there's a video knocking around which shows the two goals side-by-side in a split screen. The similarity is uncanny, alright.

Anonymous,  10/4/10 5:43 AM  

Fantastic post. Never noticed that before...when watching that 2nd view with your words in mind I started laughing. He's just that ridiculous.

By the way, one of my favorite sites on the net. Keep it up.

Elliott 24/4/10 9:36 PM  

In hockey, when a forward makes a move and fakes out the keeper, it's called a "deke." I feel like the soccer lexicon needs a better term than "rounds the keeper."

And I love Messi's second move in this sequence - for me it's the least predictable and still puzzles me how he cut inside and timed his pause to perfection

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