‘An eighth Ballon d’Or incoming’: Lionel Messi leaves fans astounded on social media with a brilliant piece of skill during PSG’s win vs Angers – as Argentine is declared ‘a gift to football’
Lionel Messi once again left football fans in awe after managing to hold onto the ball under heavy pressure inside the box against Angers in a confined space, outnumbered two to one.
The Argentina skipper showed off his trademark close-control and dribbling skills to evade the challenges of both Nabil Bentaleb and Miha Blazic late in the game on Wednesday evening.
The 35-year-old made a winning return to his club, and scored a sensational second goal for PSG, who he joined in 2021 after Barcelona could no longer afford to pay his contract – a contract that a top executive suggested leaking to the press, according to a new report.
Lionel Messi astounded fans with a stunning piece of skill late in the game against Angers
With the tie entering the final minutes and PSG comfortably ahead, the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner received the ball under close attention from the opposing defence, before wriggling clear of their attempts only for a team-mate to lose control of the ball.
And fans quickly flocked to Twitter to share their thoughts on the latest spectacular showing from a forward that continues to perform at a world-beating level, despite his age of 35.
One fan claimed: ‘He’s a gift to football.’
Fans claimed that the recent World Cup winner has aged ‘like a fine win’ and predicted an eighth Ballon d’Or award in 2023
Another predicted a record extending eighth award was incoming, writing: ‘8th Ballon d’Or incoming.’
And a third added: ‘Aging like fine wine.’
In December lifted the World Cup with Argentina, finishing as the only player to ever win the Player of the Tournament award twice and finally getting his hand on what had looked to be the most elusive trophy in his career.
The Argentinian captain made a winning return to club football against the Ligue 1 strugglers
And now he will surely be turning his attentions to another seemingly difficult to reach goal – winning the Champions League with his club, which is arguably the main reason he was signed in the first place.
Having struggled to hit the ground running in the French capital, he registered 11 goals in 34 Ligue 1 games – a tally that the majority of footballers would count among their best seasons.
But for Messi it represented a poor outing, and in response he has already bettered that tally, scoring his 13th in scintillating fashion on Wednesday night.
The 35-year-old has already surpassed his entire goal tally from last season in mid-January
Hugo Ekitike had given PSG the lead after just five minutes, before Messi took centre stage with his stunning finish.
After picking up the ball outside the Angers box, Messi played a quick one-two with Neymar, before spraying an outside of the boot pass out to the right-hand side, quickly following the ball to receive it back on the edge of the ‘D’.
Messi then played the ball into Ekitike and continued his run into the box as the Frenchman fed Nordi Mukiele, who sent the ball back into his path in behind the defence, taking one touch before finishing low to the left.
That goal meant he draws level with Cristiano Ronaldo’s tally of 696 goals scored in Europe’s top-five leagues