Thursday 9 February 2023 Dublin: 2°C
Dean Mouhtaropoulos Barcelona's Leo Messi.
# mis-hit
Messi admits Pique assist was 'not something we planned'
The Argentine set up the defender during his side’s win over PSV, but the star said his free-kick was an accident.

A DELIGHTED LIONEL Messi admitted his free-kick to set up Gerard Pique during Barcelona’s win over PSV was an accident.

After scoring a brilliant opener Messi mishit a set-piece that was poked in by Pique in the second half of Barca’s 2-1 victory in the Champions League on Wednesday.

The goal pulled Pique closer to the record as the top scoring defender in Champions League history with his 13th strike, trailing only Ivan Helguera (15) and Roberto Carlos (16) and proved to be the winner on the night.  

While some gave the superstar credit for the assist, the 31-year-old said it was not intended.

“The free-kick didn’t come off but Gerard was in the area and he saw it and fortunately it went in but it was not something we had planned,” Messi said, via the club’s website.

Luuk de Jong pulled a goal back late on for PSV, who racked up 23 shots and hit the woodwork three times, but Barca saw out victory to seal top spot in Group B.

Messi’s goal saw him break another record, surpassing Cristiano Ronaldo as the most prolific Champions League scorer for a single club with his 106th .

He said: “I am delighted, I have just found out now. I am happy for this new stat.”

Messi was also thrilled to see his side clinch top spot in a group that includes Inter and Tottenham.

“We have achieved our objective of finishing top of a difficult group,” he said.

“We are really happy, it has been a tight group with tough away trips.”

Messi and Barcelona can now turn their attentions back to La Liga, where they trail Sevilla by a single point through 13 matches. 

Exclusive Six
Nations Analysis

Get Murray Kinsella’s exclusive analysis of Ireland’s Six Nations campaign this spring

Become a Member

They will face off against Villarreal on Sunday as they look to take back top spot in the league. 

There will also be plenty on the line for the club’s final game of the group play in the league, though it will be for opponents Tottenham rather than for the Blaugrana. 

Spurs will need to better Inter’s result against PSV in their clash with the Spanish giants to progress to the round of 16. 

Subscribe to our new podcast, Heineken Rugby Weekly on The42, here:

Your Voice
Readers Comments
This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
Leave a Comment

    Leave a commentcancel