Friday, September 29, 2023

Footage shows subtle Lionel Messi tactic to gain small free-kick advantage

Inter Miami talisman Lionel Messi used a clever tactic to gain a subtle advantage before scoring yet another freekick.

The 36-year-old produced another piece of brilliance, as his side booked their place in the MLS Leagues Cup quarter-finals.

Messi netted his team’s first goal in the victory over FC Dallas, before then firing a trademark free-kick into the net late on, sending the tie to a penalty shootout, after the scores were tied at 4-4.

The sensational set-piece showcased Messi’s brilliance and capped off his man of the match display.

Though had referee Cesar Arturo Ramos been more vigilant, it remains to be seen whether the goal would have actually stood.

An eagle-eyed fan captured Messi repositioning the ball on several occasions, before moving it to the left one step at a time, therefore increasing his chances of scoring.

After the referee had finished talking to the players in the FC Dallas wall, Messi stepped up and fired beyond goalkeeper Maarten Paes.

The World Cup winner took his tally to seven for the MLS side, having left Paris Saint-Germain following the expiry of his contract last month.

Messi scored a late free-kick against Cruz Azul on his debut, before netting two goals and contributing an assist against Atlanta United.

The seven-time Ballon d’Or then added another brace in his third match against Orlando City, before his stunning display against FC Dallas, which saw him net twice.

Tata Martino’s Inter Miami face Charlotte in the next round of the Leagues Cup competition on Friday night.

And it’s fair to say, you certainly wouldn’t bet against Messi producing another masterclass in that one.

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On Wednesday (March 28th), footage of Barcelona footballer Lionel Messi revealed a subtle tactic he may have been employing to gain a small advantage in free-kick situations.

The footage showed Messi standing slightly behind and in the opposite direction of the wall ten yards away. This slight movement makes it much more difficult for defenders to challenge the ball and block the shot as they are forced to judge distances from his back in order to block the shot.

When asked about the tactic, Messi admitted to being an advocate of the technique, but denied that it was designed to gain any advantage. “I thought I needed to wait for the defenders to provoke the ball being hit,” he said. “This tactic makes a defender think longer and act slower.”

Messi’s technique has been previously used by other international players, and whilst it may be used to give a player a small advantage or two in free-kick situations, the Barcelona player insists it was not his intention.

Messi has established himself as one of the greatest footballers of all time while continuing to find small ways to improve his technique.

It remains to be seen how effective the subtle tactic has been in the free-kick situations, but it is clear to see that it has been part of the Barcelona players repertoire for a number of years.

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