Lionel Messi put on a show after the little magician returned to training ahead of Barcelona’s clash with Real Betis on the weekend.
The Argentinian had missed the season opener where Aritz Aduriz consigned Barcelona to a 1-0 opening-day defeat at Athletic Bilbao with a spectacular overhead kick that belied his 38 years.
The game was the first season opener Messi had missed in 10 years, and came after he struck 36 goals in 34 league matches last term.
Fans were no doubt delighted with the latest news but same can’t be said about Arturo Vidal after the Chilean suffered an embarrassing moment in training courtesy of Lionel Messi.
The nutmeg takes place on the 27 seconds mark in the video below –
Good to see you back with the ball, Leo 🤩 pic.twitter.com/Kv38od9jma— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) August 21, 2019
2019 Puskas Award nominee
Lionel Messi is also one of the contenders to win the Puskas Award for his sublime chipped effort for Barcelona against Real Betis in March this year.
Here are the 10 candidates:
-Matheus Cunha (BRA) – Bayer Leverkusen vs RB Leipzig [Bundesliga]
-Zlatan Ibrahimović (SWE) – Toronto FC vs LA Galaxy [MLS]
-Lionel Messi (ARG) – Real Betis vs FC Barcelona [La Liga]
-Ajara Nchout (CMR) – Cameroon vs New Zealand [Women’s World Cup]
-Fabio Quagliarella (ITA) – Sampdoria vs Napoli [Serie A]
-Juan Fernando Quintero (COL) – River Plate vs Racing Club [Superliga Argentina]
-Amy Rodriguez (USA) – Utah Royals vs Sky Blue FC [NWSL]
-Billie Simpson (NIR) – Sion Swifts Ladies FC vs Cliftonville Ladies FC [NIFL Premiership]
-Andros Townsend (ENG) – Manchester City vs Crystal Palace [Premier League]
-Dániel Zsóri (ROU) – Debrecen FC vs Ferencváros TC [Nemzeti Bajnoskag I]
All 10 goals up for consideration, chosen by a panel of “FIFA and external football experts”, were scored between July 16, 2018 and July 19, 2019.
They will now go to a public vote via FIFA’s official website, which is open until September 1, and the top three will then go before a panel of FIFA greats, who will choose this year’s winner.
The best goal for 2019 will be announced at the FIFA Football Awards in Milan on September 23.