There are few things in life that are certain – death, taxes and Lionel Messi’s magic.
Arguably, the greatest ever player to have graced the game, the little Argentine yet again produced a moment of magnificence for Paris St. Germain against fierce Ligue 1 rivals Olympique de Marseille last night. Well, almost.
In the 35th minute of Le Classico, the French champions were awarded a freekick right on the edge of the box. The man, the myth, the legend – Lionel Messi – stepped up and placed the ball at his feet.
The stage was set. The score line was evenly poised at 0-0. The suspense was built after the referee delayed the freekick by a minute after spotting a little scuffle in the penalty box between the PSG defender Nordi Mukiele and OM goalkeeper Pau Lopez.
You could cut the tension with a knife in Parc des Princes.
All 11 men, defending against one solitary figure with a football. We all know what happens next usually.
The Argentinian heaved a big sigh, ran up towards the ball & hit it sweetly as ever. It flew past the rising head of Matteo Guendouzi towards the goal. The keeper stuck to the ground. And the scoreline changed in favour of the Parisians, almost.
The ball hit the post, just a few millimetres too high and agonizingly close to his 8th goal of the season. It rebounded off the woodwork and then subsequently was scattered out of the danger area by Marseille.
His family was at the stadium to watch him play, after missing out in the past couple of matches due to an injury. Their reaction was identical to the thousands in the stadium, and millions across the globe.
His wife Antonela, along with their two sons, Thiago & Mateo, were shocked and couldn’t believe what they had seen. Just like us. Her husband and their father missed scoring the all-important opener by a whisker.
The main narrative though remained of Messi’s involvement, and what could have been.