Lionel Messi enjoyed his finest night as a Paris Saint-Germain player so far against Manchester City in the Champions League on Tuesday night.
The legendary forward scored his first goal for the Parisians after joining the club last month.
And what a goal it was, too. Messi received the ball near the halfway line and darted towards goal before slamming the ball past Ederson into the top corner of the net.
It was a moment of magic from the 34-year-old, who left Barcelona abruptly in the summer.
Messi’s goal helped PSG secure a 2-0 victory over Pep Guardiola’s side. Idrissa Gueye had given the hosts the lead at the Parc des Princes in the eighth minute.
As PSG closed out the game, Messi had the unexpected task of laying behind the wall as Man City prepared to take a free-kick.
You can watch the clip here (complete with Rio Ferdinand’s reaction):
— Rio Ferdinand (@rioferdy5) September 28, 2021
As you can imagine, the sight of Messi – arguably the greatest footballer in history – laying behind the wall sparked quite the reaction on social media.
Let’s check out some of the best tweets:
As some football fans pointed out, Messi is probably the main reason why so many teams defend free-kicks with a player lying down behind walls these days.
Just as capable of scoring over or under a wall, teams had to come up with an innovative way to try and prevent the free-kick maestro from scoring.
Rio Ferdinand wasn’t impressed to see Messi laying down
However, Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand believes Messi is too much of a legend to have the job of being the man laying down behind the wall.
“The moment Pochettino asked him to do that on the training ground, someone should have gone in there and said ‘no, no, no, no, no’. It just doesn’t happen to Leo Messi. It’s disrespectful, I wouldn’t have it,” Ferdinand said.
“If I was in that team, I’d say: ‘listen: I’ll lay down for you’. Sorry, I couldn’t have him laying down like that. He doesn’t get his kit dirty! That’s not what Messi does.”