Social media blew up – for a change – when Lionel Messi opted to pass the ball to Luis Suarez from the penalty spot, in order for the Uruguayan to complete his hat-trick – and also to piss off Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Argentina international faced love and hate in equal measure for his decision to not do the socially acceptable thing but instead opting to replicate Johan Cruyff’s iconic spot kick.
The Dutch master has spoken out about Messi’s attempt at trying to steal his thunder, telling Spanish media outlet, Sport: “Football is to have fun and Messi is making it fun for all of us. It made me very content because I share ideas with the players who dare to do these type of things”.
When Cruyff speaks, you can still sense that love for the game, like he’s still playing and is about to pull on his football boots for the first time.
Cruyff, who was successful with Barca as a player and manager, heaped further praise on his former employer: “It’s a team I love and I enjoy the three up front a lot, Iniesta, Busquets and Bravo. It’s a beastly team.”
Rather amusingly, Cruyff revealed an interesting tale from his iconic moment: “The referee, after the penalty, asked me ‘What have you done? Is that valid?’ and I said yes, the ball always moved forward, it wasn’t offside. He gave it. The press of the time praised the play. They saw it as genius. And it’s been like that since, so I don’t understand the controversy we saw. Football’s to have fun, not to get into wars or provocations.”
You’ve got to wish that referees still asked players for help with decisions nowadays because god knows they need it:
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