The Barcelona and Argentine star Lionel Messi is regarded as one of the best players ever in football. At the age of 25, he already won the FIFA Ballon d’Or 4 times, a record in football. Missing out on the award in 2013 and 2014, Messi came back to winning ways in 2015 and won 1 more golden ball. No other footballer has won it more than 3 times and so Messi is a record holder. But those were not only his goal scoring feat that made him great. Leo is a player who values team success more than his personal glory. One of the reasons of his success is the same trait. A number of times Leo has passed the ball to his team-mates when he could have scored himself. Here we have compiled Top 10 ridiculously Unselfish Plays by Lionel Messi.
Leo receives the ball from Suarez and it was an easy chance for Messi to score. Just when everyone thought that he was going to shoot, he passed the ball to Suarez. Suarez eventually missed the chance but Messi showed that he doesn’t care about his personal glory.
A similar situation once again when Suarez, Messi, opposition goalkeeper, and 2 defenders were present in the box. Messi could have possibly scored the goal but passed the ball to Suarez. A heroic defensive attempt of a Bilbao defender resisted Suarez’s shot.
Back in the Pep Guardiola’s era, the squad of 2010/11 season of Barcelona was regarded as the best club side ever. The season was when Barcelona fully developed the tiki-taka system and Messi was one of the masters of it. Against Racing Santander, Messi did a wonderful one-two with David Villa and chipped the ball to Pedro. Although he could have chipped it inside easily but he enjoyed assisting his team-mate after doing all the work.
Barcelona and Cordoba played each other in Copa Del Rey 2014/15. Barcelona won a penalty. Messi was on a hat-trick and could have scored 3. Instead of scoring a personal hat-trick, Leo preferred to give the penalty to Neymar as he was not on the scoreline that day.
Not only this all grown up Leo, but when he was young and needed goals to make impression, he was unselfish at that time too and prioritize the team success over his individual. This goal against Croatia was all Messi’s horse work. And when he was in a 1-on-1 situation he passed it on to Carlos Tevez to ensure that they equalized at all costs.
Almost the same situation. Young Messi doing all the build up himself and passing on to a team-mate when he himself was in a 1-on-1 situation.
A tough tie between Barcelona and Villarreal and Barcelona needed to make difference to secure 3 points. Xavi gave an excellent through ball to Messi and he was on a clear goal scoring chance. The defender nearest to Leo was at least 10 yards away and he was in a 1-on-1 situation with the goalkeeper. He is a deadly finisher and could have easily scored the goal. But rather passed the ball to Pedro who eventually got an empty net to score.
PSG and Barcelona came face to face 4 times in the season 2014/15. When both the teams played at the Camp Nou in group stages, Leo did a very Leo thing. Neymar made a shot which was rebounded after a beautiful save by the Paris Saint-Germain goalkeeper. The rebound was a clear opportunity for Messi to tap-in. But he left it for Luis Suarez to score who was also approaching the ball.
In 2009 when Zlatan Ibrahimovic joined Barcelona making a move from Inter, he made a good start. But as he went on, Guardiola gave the central attacking position to Messi. Ibra was left on the wings and his form suffered heavily. Relations between the 2 players went worse and Ibra missed shooting boots. During a game vs Real Zaragoza, Messi was about to score his first ever super hat-trick. He already had 3 goals and won a penalty. Instead of going for a 4th, he gave the penalty to Zlatan and earned his respect.
Some might criticize this as a disrespect and humiliation for the opposition, but for Barcelona and their fans, this is beautiful football. That penalty assists that Messi gave to Suarez against Celta Vigo in 2015/16 season was also an example of his unselfishness.