They said AC Milan had found a way to stop him. They said Italian teams were his Kryptonite.
They were wrong.
Lionel Messi barely got a kick against Milan at the San Siro, but in the return leg at Camp Nou, Barcelona's resident genius aired his sublime talent in a two-goal masterclass that sparked a memorable comeback.
Messi took just five minutes to make his mark—sending an instinctive shot into the top corner despite being completely surrounded by defenders in white.
The second arrived on 40 minutes, when Messi's immaculate control led to a shot that he sent through a defender's legs, making it 2-2 on aggregate.
From there, Messi was to the fore as Barca dominated possession and went for the kill. David Villa's goal put them ahead before Messi's breakaway helped shape a fourth for Jordi Alba.
They called for a big performance. Messi delivered.