Whichever team is about to face Spanish club Barcelona probably has first to answer this question: “How are we going to stop Lionel Messi?”
The Barcelona striker from Argentina seems always to get the ball in the net. And the match between Barcelona and UK’s Liverpool in the UEFA Champions League semi-final on May 1 perfectly illustrated the danger Messi creates for Barcelona’s opponents. Messi scored twice that night, securing a 3-0 win for Barcelona. His second goal was especially impressive: Messi managed to score with a free kick some 22 meters out.
CNN reporter James Masters called that shot “Messi magic”. And BT Sport commentator Rio Ferdinand described it as “unbelievable”.
But the “magic” hasn’t always worked. And Messi might well say that the disappointments of 2018 were “unbelievable”.
In April, 2018, Messi saw Barcelona disqualified in the Champions League’s quarterfinal.
In June, France sent Argentina home in the World Cup. And, despite the fact that he is a five-time winner of Ballon d’Or, in 2018 Messi wasn’t even among the top choices for the award.
Many said that Messi was looking past his prime. But Messi’s magnificent playing – has proved them all wrong: “Messi magic” is back. With that free kick on May 1, Messi scored his 600th goal for Barcelona, and who can say there won’t be many more to come?
不少人认为梅西的巅峰时刻已经过去。但梅西杰出的球技 —— 证明了他们的想法都是错的：“梅西魔法”回来了。5月1日的那粒任意球是梅西为巴塞罗那打入的第600记进球，而谁又能说这样的进球将来不会有更多呢。
So perhaps The New York Times reporter Rory Smith has the best response to the question at the beginning – if not an answer: “No matter how hard you work or how much you run, there is no way to plan for Barcelona. There is no plan that contains Messi,” he wrote.
“There is no plan that stops him.”
(Translator & Editor: Wang Xingwei AND Ji Yuan)