Barcelona legend Xavi spoke to CNN this week, telling them which players make up his ‘Ultimate Footballer’.
The 37-year-old factored in everything from first touch to fashion sense, but interestingly leaves out five-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi from most of his inclusions.
Xavi was talking to CNN in Qatar, where he plays for Al-Sadd.
Lionel Messi reached 500 goals for Barcelona in dramatic fashion as he scored a stoppage-time winner in Sunday’s El Clasico against arch-rivals Real Madrid.
Messi had cancelled out Casemiro’s opener in the first half, but was needed again after the 10 men of Madrid levelled through James Rodriguez following Ivan Rakitic’s strike.
As you can see in our handy little graphic below, Messi has struck those goals in a variety of ways across a number of different tournaments.
The man is an absolute genius.
Barcelona’s talismanic forward Lionel Messi loves scoring goals, even more so at the Santiago Bernabeu, Real Madrid’s home stadium.
The Argentine genius has netted some wonderful goals for Barca over the years in La Liga whenever visiting their rivals.
Making his way with some majestic dribbles past defenders, converting penalties and finding the corner from free-kicks has been Messi’s way of doing things at the Bernabeu.
And now, ahead of El Clasico on Sunday, Messi is just two goals away from his 500th goal for Barcelona, a milestone he’d no doubt like to reach on enemy soil.
Thanks to Barcelona’s official YouTube channel, we can look back at some of Messi’s greatest strikes on Real turf over the years.