UEFA Champions League: Real Madrid vs. Barcelona—Lionel Messi New Ronadlinho?
Lionel Messi put on a dazzling display in Barcelona's 2-0 first-leg victory at the Bernabeu on Wednesday night over Real Madrid.
He scored twice, once on an excellent finish with a brilliant setup and another shortly thereafter on a classic Messi display where he took on essentially Madrid's entire defense.
But was it an all-time performance for the ages by a Barcelona footballer at the famed Bernabéu? That honour is still reserved for onetime Catalan superstar (and fellow South American) Ronaldinho.
Ronaldinho's brace on November 19 2005 in an El Clasico clash at the Bernabéu not only sealed a 3-0 Barcelona victory, but his amazing effort even earned the respect of the Madrid fans. When he was subbed out with the game in hand, the Madrid fans actually gave the villain who just almost singlehandedly annihilated their team a standing ovation.
Although Messi's spectacular display on Wednesday didn't earn him the admiration of the Madrid fans—that probably had much to do with the fact their team is likely done in Europe—his performance did help him fulfill his role as 'Dinho's protege.
Before tonight's tilt, Umaid Wasim prophetically wrote:
The fact that I go back to that performance in many of my articles is because that blitz from Ronaldinho was a truly spectacular one. The way in which he broke the shackles to tear apart their arch-rivals cannot be repeated by any other player at present other than Messi.
In 2005, Messi had just broken into the Barcelona senior team while a Mexican midfield starlet Giovanni Dos Santos was homing his skills in the Barcelona’s famed youth academy — the La Masia.
And both were touted as Ronaldinho’s protégés.
While Dos Santos lost his way, it was Messi who stepped up to replace the Brazilian star when he left the club for AC Milan in 2008.
Now, its high time that Messi shows that he really has replaced his mentor with a performance that could be reminiscent to that of Ronaldinho on that night in the Spanish capital.
Consider it (just about) done.
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