Lionel Messi Turns 35: Celebrating His 500th For Barcelona That Even Forced A Real Madrid Fan To Celebrate
A goal so good it silenced the Real Madrid stadium. A goal so magical that it even forced an ardent Real Madrid fan to celebrate. (Image: Match Referee/Facebook)

New Delhi: In 2017, Lionel Messi was on 498 goals for Barcelona, on course to score 500 goals for Barcelona, the club he had been at his whole life. And his next match was “El Classico”, on 24th April 2017. Barcelona versus Real Madrid. Real Madrid had effectively won the title by then, so this match was mainly about bragging rights for the Catalonian club, and keep them just about in the race for the title in case Real Madrid stumbled badly.

In the 91st minute, the match was delicately poised at 2-2, with Messi having scored one of the Barcelona goals to take his tally to 499. Fans of both teams would have been forgiven for thinking that the match was over at 2-2, but Barcelona had other ideas. Sergi Roberto started the move, picking up the ball near to the corner flag in his own half. He played a short pass to centre-back Gerard Pique, who played a lofted ball to defensive midfield veteran Sergio Busquests. He quickly returned the ball to Roberto who was dashing forward. The Spaniard dribbled past three Real Madrid players, Cristiano Ronaldo, Luka Modric, and Marcelo. He then found Neymar who was waiting on the left wing, who quickly passed to Jordi Alba. No Real Madrid player noticed the Barcelona #10 drifting into the 18-yard box, and when Alba’s pinpoint pass found his left foot, there was only going to be one outcome.

3-2 Barcelona, Messi’s 500th goal. A thing of Barcelona beauty to seal the match for the Catalonian giants. A goal so good it silenced the Real Madrid stadium. A goal so magical that it even forced an ardent Real Madrid fan to celebrate. It was an iconic goal, matched with an iconic celebration by the Argentine.

Article written by Purv Ashar