Thursday, August 13, 2020

A messi goal

One might think that Messi, very slowly entering the twilight of his extraordinary soccer career, likely on the way to being the most prolific goal scorer ever, would have already covered every way there is to score a goal. So it was a delight to see him put a new wrinkle on the technique earlier this week.

He took the ball outside the other team's box with half a dozen of the opposition between him and the goal. Having one of those peculiar moments where he decides those are reasonable odds he proceeded to try to dribble through a large, non social distancing cluster of them. Because such a move is entirely impossible the ball ended up banging around in the crowd with Messi falling ignominiously to the ground for his efforts.

"Good enough." Messi seemed to say as he scrambled from the grass to find the ball at his feet almost like he'd planned the whole thing.

He didn't have time to get fully upright, so he just poked the ball forward a bit, started falling down, and made a tiny fake as he did so to open up a soccer ball's width of space between a couple remaining defenders. Then, as he was commencing finally to land hard on his butt, he managed to boot the ball through the tiny space he created, curving it through the air, off the fingertips of the leaping goalie, and into the net. Magical, inimitable, slightly ridiculous, and strangely difficult to work out.

I'm pretty sure it happened.

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