Barcelona stars Andres Iniesta and Neymar Jr. have conflicting claims about Lionel Messi’s moment of magic to pass a penalty into the path of team-mate Luis Suarez to claim his hat-trick.
In the video, Neymar can be seen charging into the penalty area behind Messi, while Suarez initially makes a run straight-forward, reaches the ball just before Neymar to complete his hat-trick
According to Neymar, he and Messi practiced the penalty dupe in training and that he was meant to score it and not Suarez but Barcelona skipper admitted that he had never seen any of his team-mates practice the trick in training, and said he had no idea who Messi’s delicate pass was meant for.
While the Brazil superstar insisted Messi’s cheeky pass was meant for him, he’s just happy to see the Catalans leading the way in La Liga after another crushing victory over Celta Vigo.
“It was for me, we had practiced it in training. Leo and myself had practiced but Luis was closer and he scored it.
“Our friendship is the most important thing. It doesn’t matter who scores the goals just that we win the games.” The Brazilian is quoted by ESPN as saying after the encounter with a smile.
In Iniesta’s words; “I had never seen them do it but I had heard them discuss it,” he said. “Perhaps it was for Neymar but Luis was there so he converted it.”
Messi’s selfless act was all the more impressive given he stood on 299 La Liga goals when he stood over the ball ahead of the penalty effort, having scored a free-kick earlier in the match. Despite having the chance to reach the 300-goal milestone, he instead chose to give the ball to one of his team-mates to score, allowing Suarez to complete his hat-trick – although Neymar’s claim perhaps reveals that it wasn’t quite the plan Messi had in mind.