Just when you thought you’d seen it all from Lionel Messi, the Argentina and Barcelona forward manages to unlock another level and social media platforms were ablaze after the Rosario native’s latest training ground golazo for La Albiceleste got captured on camera.
Collecting the ball near the halfway line, there seems to be no immediate danger but Messi’s acceleration takes one opponent out of the game instantly before setting off for the goal.
The 30-year-old’s still got plenty of work to do as he’s got defenders swarming around but he remains unfazed as he calmly slaloms his way past two of them and unleashes a low shot that beats the keeper with ease.
Within six seconds, Messi’s scored what is probably his gazillionth training ground goal and he’s not even broken a sweat.
At the club level, the diminutive forward has won all there is to win from the La Liga to the UEFA Champions League to the FIFA Club World Cup, multiple times that too, but success on the International stage has eluded him.
A lone Olympic Games (2008) gold medal hangs in his bare trophy cabinet and with the 2018 FIFA World Cup less than 90 days away, Messi knows it’s now or never.
After suffering heartbreak in three Copa America finals (2007, 2015 and 2016) and the 2014 FIFA World Cup, La Albiceleste are desperate to end their trophy drought and by winning the biggest prize in world football, they could cement Messi’s legacy if they emerge victorious in Russia.
Jorge Sampaoli’s men take on European powerhouses Italy (March 23) and Spain (March 27) in two massive International friendlies before the players return to their respective clubs as the 2017-18 season nears its conclusion.
Argentina, along with arch-rivals Brazil, France and Germany are the favourites for the quadrennial tournament but it remains to be seen if Messi and Co. can trump the rest to win their country’s first World Cup since their 1986 triumph.