Lionel Messi Scores 'Panenka' Free-Kick In Derby Against Espanyol

Lionel Messi kept up his reputation as the best free-kick taker in world football again this evening.

In the 72nd minute Barca were awarded a free-kick in Messi range and the Argentina casually scored a sixth dead-ball goal against the Catalan outfit in his career, and a third past Diego Lopez this season.

He delicately dinked the ball and saw his effort go in with some help from Victor Sanchez, who headed the ball into the back of his own net.

Forget Panenka penalties, introducing Panenka free-kicks from the one and only Leo Messi:

The bit of wizardry from Messi prompted commentator Ray Hudson to let out another memorable line to add to his collection.

"That should come with a health warning, as it will give you physical arousal for four hours straight," the BeIN Sports man said, perfectly describing what Messi conjured up.

Bored of chipping penalties, the five-time Ballon d'Or winner is now changing the game yet again by repeating the feat a few yards further back.

Image: PA
Image: PA

Incredibly, it was Messi's 12th free-kick goal since the start of 2018 - which is not only more than any other player has managed - but also every other entire team in Europe on the whole.

He followed up his free-kick with a second goal in the 89th minute to seal the derby win and take his goals tally to 41 in 38 games this season.

Josh Lawless

Josh is a writer who specialises in football and wrestling. He has been published by Curzon Ashton FC, Late Tackle, Manchester City FC, The Mirror, Read Man City and Manchester Evening News. He provides coverage of professional wrestling and has interviewed some of the biggest names in the field - including the first UK interview with The Hardy Boyz after their return to WWE. He has never sported a pair of Lonsdale Slip-ons, contrary to reports.

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