Messi squared the ball from the penalty spot for his team-mate to net in a manner reminiscent of a penalty scored by the Dutchman himself playing for Ajax in 1982, when he passed to Jesper Olsen. Cruyff told El Periodico (h/t Marca) he has no problems whatsoever with the move:
How is it possibly a lack of respect? Back then [when Cruyff performed the two-man penalty] nobody thought anything of the sort. It just doesn't make sense at all. It's football, it's entertaining, something different, and football is just that, entertainment, it's a game.
And that's what Messi is about, having fun and entertaining people. And how can it be a lack of respect when Celta played so well? …
What Messi did thrilled me. If anyone can get away with that, it's him.
The goal was Barca’s fourth in a 6-1 win at the Camp Nou. The Blaugrana turned on the style in the last 30 minutes of the game, but they were made to work hard for their victory for long spells, with Celta failing to take a succession of chances with the score at 2-1.
Here is another look at the goal, per Eren van Basten:
Here is a reminder of the two-man penalty Cruyff was part of himself 24 years ago, as the Dutch giants faced Helmond Sport:
Barcelona’s own recreation of that particular moment is something that has got the football stratosphere talking. Some, like Cruyff, have hailed the team’s ability to conjure something refreshing and enjoyable. However, for others, it was a moment that was a little disrespectful to the vanquished opposition.
“I was really surprised,” he stated. “It is a rule, and if you respect the rules, you can do what you want. If you do this in Spain, it’s OK, but if you do it in Italy, maybe you’ll have more problems. But if you respect the rules, everything is possible.”
Another iconic figure associated with Los Blancos, Roberto Carlos, has been critical of the goal. “If we did that Messi penalty at the Bernabeu, it's a lack of respect,” he told Cadena SER's El Larguero (h/t James Dutton of the MailOnline).
However, the majority seem to have enjoyed what was a brilliant moment. The likes of Messi, Suarez and their team-mate Neymar score remarkable goals and tot up incredible statistics, but it’s these moments that really resonate.
Indeed, Spanish football expert Sergi Dominguez feels as though the routine was in tribute to the former Barcelona boss:
Messi pays tribute to Cruyff with that penalty. Wow.— Sergi Domínguez (@FutbolSergi) February 14, 2016
Was Barcelona's penalty disrespectful to Celta?
Football would become a little monotonous if players didn’t try to be original. Of course, the traditions that make up a critical part of the game need to be observed, but if there was no creativity, it’d grow tiresome.
Plus if Suarez’s goal is deemed disrespectful, then does that make step-overs classless, too? What about backheels, dummies and no-look passes?
These moments of inspiration and the subsequent rush are what keep so many coming back for more.