Lionel Messi scored a vintage goal for Barcelona against Osasuna on Sunday to make it 4-0 to the Catalan giants and celebrated by paying a perfect tribute to Diego Maradona.
The Barcelona captain dribbled past a defender before unleashing a great shot that flew past goalkeeper Sergio Herrera for his seventh goal of the 2020-21 season and just his second from open play.
Messi then took off his Barcelona shirt to reveal a Newell’s Old Boys jersey with a No. 10 on the back. Maradona spent a brief spell with the Argentine side, where Messi began his career, before a final stint with Boca Juniors.
Messi also took to Instagram after the match with a picture of his tribute.
The goal put the game out of Osasuna’s reach. Barcelona had opened the scoring on the half-hour mark when Martin Braithwaite bundled home from close range. Antoine Griezmann made it 2-0 with a brilliant volley before half-time before teeing up Philippe Coutinho after the break for Barca’s third of the afternoon.
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Maradona Remembered at the Camp Nou
Maradona was remembered at the Camp Nou ahead of Sunday’s kick-off. The two teams held a minute’s silence before kick-off. The club also laid a Maradona shirt in the center-circle and in the director’s box.
Messi looked a little emotional at the end of the minute’s silence. The captain had previously posted a heartfelt tribute to Maradona after news broke that the Argentine had died at the age of 60.
Messi wrote on Instagram, “A very sad day for all Argentines and football. He leaves us but does not leave, because Diego is eternal. I keep all the beautiful moments lived with him and wanted to take advantage to send condolences to all his family and friends. RIP.”
Barcelona Turn On the Style Against Osasuna
Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman spoke about how his team could pay tribute to Maradona ahead of the game in his pre-match press conference, as reported by AS.
The best tribute to Maradona would be a strong display on the pitch tomorrow. I played against Maradona when he was at Sevilla, he did plenty in the warm-up. I spent more time watching his warm-up than actually warming myself up!
The players certainly followed their manager’s instructions in an attractive display full of intent. Koeman named an attacking lineup and saw his side create plenty of chances against Jagoba Arrasate’s men.
Braithwaite justified his inclusion with his third goal in two games for the Catalan giants, while Antoine Griezmann continued his improved form in front of goal.
Griezmann also turned provider by teeing up Coutinho for his first Barcelona goal since returning from injury, while Messi’s strike completed a fine afternoon for Koeman’s men and sees the team back to winning ways in La Liga.
The three points move Barca into seventh place in the table and now just three points behind Real Madrid in fourth place. Koeman’s men also have a game in hand on the defending champions.