10 Times Lionel Messi Shocked the World


Chris Howie Aarran Summers

Lionel Messi has scored a staggering 627 goals for Barcelona in 15 years of service. During that time he has astonished onlookers with his dazzling array of skills, free kicks and jinking runs. We take a look at 10 occasions the Argentinian scored goals that made the world sit up and take notice. 

10. Barcelona 2-0 Albacete, La Liga, 1ST May 2005

They say the best place to start is at the beginning. Messi’s first goal for Barcelona was all the way back on 1st May 2005. When the teenage Messi was substituted onto the pitch for Frank Rijkaard’s Barca, not many would have predicted he would go on to achieve the heights he has. Ronaldinho chipped a beautiful pass into Messi’s path, as the ball bounced he didn’t think twice, lobbing the goalkeeper from outside the box to seal the victory for Barca. The image of the current number 10 being held up high by the former, Ronaldinho, was iconic as it was symbolic.

9. Barcelona 2-0 Manchester United, Champions League Final, 27th May 2009 

Four years on from his 1st goal for Barcelona, Lionel Messi was now a firm starter for Pep Guardiola’s precocious Barcelona side. He had already scored a myriad of mesmerizing goals, yet his goal against Manchester United in the 2009 Champions League final was arguably the first that made him a household name for the casual football observer.

Leading 1-0 against Cristiano Ronaldo’s dogged Manchester United side - Xavi was afforded too much time on the right channel and floated in a cross which Messi, all 5’7” of him, was able to arch his neck and plant a firm header past a stranded Edwin Van Der Sar. The fact he somehow lost his boot during the header made the celebrations all the more bizarre.

8. Sevilla 2-4 Barcelona, La Liga, 17th March 2012

Messi may not frequently display ‘stepovers’, ‘pirouettes’ or no-look passes that other players enjoy exhibiting. Frankly, it’s because he doesn’t need to. The old boxing adage of precision beating power and timing beating speed could not apply to a footballer more. Back in 2012, at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, Messi timed a first touch nutmeg through the legs of defender Emir Spahic before impudently chipping the onrushing Andres Palop. 

7. Zaragoza 2-4 Barcelona, La Liga, 21st March 2010

Ten years ago, Messi was a more deferential character. He wasn’t as outspoken as he can be today, yet he always possessed the ‘edge’. In March of 2010, with Zaragoza and left-back Leonardo Ponzio, in particular, trying to kick Messi out of the game, the Barca number 10 demonstrated strength that was not often seen.

What can only be described as putting a young Ander Herrera ‘on the weights’, he exploded from the centre circle, skipping past desperate challenges, hopping from either side of his magical feet before slotting a cool finish past the Zaragoza goalkeeper to score his second goal of the game. Thirteen minutes later he would complete his hattrick.   

6. Barcelona 3-0 Bayern Munich, Champions League Semi-Final, May 6th 2015

Barcelona won the Champions League in 2015, with Messi securing his 4th Champions League Winners medal in the process. The route to the final shouldn’t have been as plain sailing as it was, but with Lionel Messi – anything is possible. With the first leg of the semi-final encounter with Bayern Munich a 0-0 stalemate, it was all to play for at the Nou Camp.

Needing a second goal to put the Bavarians out of reach, Messi collected a pass from Rakitic before bearing down at Bayern’s Jerome Boateng. With one drop of his shoulder, Boateng was sent crashing to the ground as if struck down by lightning. The chipped finish that followed was routine, however, the mockery the german centre back received on social media memes perhaps wasn’t. 


5. Real Madrid 2-3 Barcelona, La Liga, April 23rd 2017

If you ever needed someone to save a team in the dying moments, it was Lionel Messi. The Argentine’s 500th Barcelona goal was one to savour. With the game heading to a 2-all draw at the Santiago Bernabeu, Messi sent his side top of La Liga with a second-half stoppage-time winner. A brilliant counter-attack allowed Messi to sidefoot his shot past the despairing dive of Keylor Navas. We then saw a hugely frustrated Cristiano Ronaldo, followed by the iconic shot of Messi taking off his shirt and holding it up to the angry Real Madrid fans. The superb winner by a player in complete control, and as commentator Ray Hudson exclaimed, ‘’you could drop a tarantula into his shorts, and he’ll still be cool!’’

4. Barcelona, UEFA Champions League SF 2nd Leg, May 1st 2019

Lionel Messi can score goals from any part of the pitch, with either foot and with his head. He was also a dead ball specialist, a goal scorer of beautiful free-kicks. Number five in our selection saw Messi score his 500th for Barcelona. His 600th goal is our number four pick and happened barely two years and a month later. His brilliant free-kick flew into the top corner beating Alisson from 25 yards. The 3-0 win would have been enough until Liverpool turned on the magic in the second half to dump Barcelona out of the competition. Messi's outrageous free-kick not sufficient to seal Barcelona's passage.

3. Real Madrid 0-2 Barcelona, UEFA Champions League SF 1st Leg, April 26th 2011

‘’A near-supernatural goal. The best player in the world bar none.’’ The words of match commentator Peter Drury after Lionel Messi’s wonder goal sealed a memorable victory over Real Madrid. A neat one-two with Sergio Busquets, Messi sprinted past Sergio Ramos and Marcelo to beat Iker Casillas. It was Messi’s second goal of the game. The two-nil first leg coupled with the 1-1 draw saw them progress to the Champions League Final where they defeated Manchester United at Wembley Stadium. It truly was a classic in the El Clasico.

2. Athletic Bilbao 1-3 Barcelona, Copa del Rey Final, May 30th 2015

The Camp Nou was the venue for Barcelona’s record 27th Copa del Rey title. Lionel Messi played in part with one of the best goals in a generation. He was standing on the nearside touchline, when he played it around three players and cut inside before beating the goalkeeper at the near post. This was the second part of Barca’s treble-winning season. Messi and co went on to win the Champions League Final a week later in Germany. 

1. Barcelona 5-2 Getafe, Copa del Rey Semi-Finals, April 18th 2007

To find Messi's greatest goal, we have to travel back to the start of his career. A young, fearless attacker, Messi was well known but unproven. The Copa del Rey would set the scene for one of Messi's most incredible displays. Nearly 15 years later, Messi's goal against Getafe in the semi-final is perhaps one of his greatest, if not the best of his remarkable goal-scoring career.

It was indeed out of this world. At the start of his playing days, Messi claimed his friend and Argentine legend Diego Maradona was his idol. Messi's goal against Getafe mirrored the exact run to that of Maradona's in the 1986 World Cup quarter-finals. After Messi had scored, the stadium erupted. Supporters all over stood and applauded; the directors smiled; it was all you could do; It was a splendid goal from a magnificent player.