Advertisement
Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi destroyed offside trap in Barcelona days amid Man Utd controversy

Lionel Messi knows a few things about offside traps.

It’s a good thing, too, because they’re quite the topic of conversation in light of Bruno Fernandes‘ highly controversial equaliser during Manchester United‘s 2-1 win over Manchester City on Saturday.

There are few football fans around the world this weekend who haven’t asked themselves whether or not they think Marcus Rashford was interfering with play just moments before Fernandes found the back of the net.

And with most people coming to the conclusion that Rashford did indeed influence the phase of play regardless of him not touching the ball, it really goes to show that the whole idea of ‘interfering with play’ is a fine art.

If you can master it, then you can play games with the referee and opponent in the palm of your hand, but if you get it wrong, then you can cost your team a goal at a crucial moment.

And perhaps unsurprisingly, Messi has proven over the years that he does indeed have the ability to destroy offside traps within his repertoire.

Given that so much of what makes the Paris Saint-Germain star such an untameable footballing force surrounds his IQ on the pitch, we shouldn’t be shocked to know that he’s placed the Laws of the Game on his puppet strings before.

Advertisement

This is the man, after all, who has a compilation about him titled: “The Smartest Skills Without Touching The Ball – Lionel Messi,” that’s over four minutes long and boasts 9.2 million views.

How has Messi destroyed an offside trap?

And if you cast your minds back to Barcelona‘s treble-winning season of 2014/15, you might remember a match where Messi helped himself to a hat-trick of right-footed goals at APOEL FC.

One of those strikes at the GSP Stadium saw Messi using and abusing the APOEL offside trap to not only create a decoy for Pedro, but also, in turn, to pave the way for him to ripple the net – and all without ‘interfering with play’.

Advertisement

In footage that amassed more than four million views in one instance, Messi is seen being hyperaware of the fact that he’s in an offside position, allowing the ball to pass him by and find his Barca strike partner who hadn’t strayed beyond the defence.

And by the time that Pedro had gotten on the end of the cross, Messi was now onside, licensing him to play the ball across the six-yard box and secure a fantastically intelligent goal.

Video: Messi destroying an offside trap for Barcelona
Advertisement

A similar situation also played out in another Champions League tie for Barcelona where Messi showed almost identical movement, clearing the way for Neymar to score at the back post.

It just goes to show that the offside rule and all the complications that come with it can – with a little bit of luck from the officials along the way – be moulded and exploited to suit your needs.

Advertisement

Rashford might not have deliberately flirted with ‘interfering with play’ in the way that Messi did, but the outcome was the same in that they didn’t quite do enough to induce the subsequent goal being disallowed.

It’s a fine, fine balance that Messi has struck perfectly before and Rashford, whether deliberately or not, managed to follow in his footsteps.

Advertisement

Recent Posts

Rodrygo Goes has just channeled his inner Ronaldinho with outrageous solo goal vs Atletico Madrid

Rodrygo Goes scored a stunning solo goal for Real Madrid in their 3-1 victory over Atletico Madrid on Thursday evening. Real welcomed their fierce rivals… Read More

4 hours ago

Cafu picks Hendrson over Modric as he selects eyebrow raising Liverpool & Real Madrid combined XI

The Champions League returns in February and there are some blockbuster ties. Paris Saint-Germain did not lose a game in their group… Read More

15 hours ago

Pep Guardiola reveals the exact moment he knew Mikel Arteta was going to be Arsenal manager

Mikel Arteta and Pep Guardiola will go head-to-head for the first time this season on Friday evening. Man City welcome the north London side… Read More

16 hours ago
Advertisement

“It was difficult…” – Journalist explains why midfielder’s agent “abandoned negotiations” with Liverpool

Sofyan Amrabat’s entourage had to “abandon negotiations” with Liverpool, according to a reputable journalist. Liverpool are in dire need of midfield… Read More

17 hours ago

Gerard Pique goes ‘Instagram official’ with new girlfriend, she’s 12 years younger than him

Gerard Pique has gone 'Instagram official' with new girlfriend Clara Chia Marti. Last year, the 35-year-old Barcelona defender split with… Read More

1 day ago

Cristiano Ronaldo’s dazzling $780,000 watch inspired by Al-Nassr move

Cristiano Ronaldo is building a new life for himself out in Saudi Arabia. Having failed to secure a move to… Read More

1 day ago
Advertisement