Lionel Messi’s past generosity has brought him down something of a wormhole. He used his penalty to tee up Luis Suarez for a hat trick rather than converting his 300th La Liga goal for the club this weekend. He is now being petitioned online to do something similarly altruistic for Javier Mascherano, his Barca team-mate. Fans are hoping that he’ll deign to let Mascherano take a penalty and score his first goal for Barcelona.
This may seem like a bit of an unusual predicament for a player who’s not exactly the new kid on the block. Mascherano arrived in Camp Nou in 2010 and has already won 13 major trophies for the club. He just made his 264th appearance for Barca for the 6-1 win against Celta Vigo. Even so, he’s managed to make not a single goal for the club throughout his illustrious career.
It seems that fans are willing to attribute this to him not being given enough chances rather than through any fault of his own.
“We believe that Javier Mascherano does not have the recognition he deserves as a star player for Barca,” the petition read, “He has given so much to the team we feel it unfair he is not recognised as he deserves. as unfortunately in football everything is measured in goals and we want him to get a goal for the club. The easiest way is to enable it to take a penalty and we ask Leo Messi to do this.”
While we agree that he’s been a great addition to Barca, we’re not sure that he’s entitled to a penalty. Doesn’t every player give as much as they can to the team anyway? And we see this being a slippery slope for Messi. Give in and he might not be able to fend off the requests to hand out penalties to every player who needs a leg-up.