The moment Messi scored against Getafe.

Messi's goal against Getafe was repeated on TV stations around the world. PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB.

On April 18, 2007, Leo Messi scored probably the best goal of his career. It came against Getafe in the first leg of the Copa del Rey semi-final. The Argentinian received the ball in his own half, beat four defenders and the goalkeeper before neatly chipping over another defender who desperately tried (in vain) to prevent the ball from crossing the line.

Nearly seven years after the goal that was so curiously reminiscent of the famous one scored by another Argentinian football great, Diego Maradona, against England in the 1986 World Cup, Barça once again face Getafe, and memories of the 2007 meeting will come flooding back. On that occasion Barça stormed to a 5-2 win at the Camp Nou, with goals from Messi (2), Xavi, Gudjohnsen and Eto’o, but were stunned by an incredible turn of events in the second leg, when Getafe won 4-0 to qualify for the second round.

For Barça players and one from Getafe remain from that meeting. The home side was formed by Jorquera, Zambrotta, Puyol, Márquez, Van Bronchorst, Xavi, Deco, Iniesta (Ezquerro, 83'), Messi (Saviola, 76'), Gudjohnsen (Oleguer, 66’) and Eto'o, while the visitors were Luis García, Cortés, Alexis, Belenguer, Paredes (Pulido, 84'), Cotelo (Pachón, 75'), Alberto (Güiza, 85'), Celestini, Casquero, Nacho and Manu.


Changes on the benches. Barça’s manager that day was Frank Rijkaardm while Bernd Schuster was the man in charge at Getafe. The German coach made a controversial comment after the match, saying that his players should have stopped Messi by fouling him.


55 metres in 12 seconds. Messi beat Paredes, Nacho, Alexis, Belenguer, Luis García (goalkeeper) and Cortés.


The ‘assister'. Xavi Hernández was the man who passed the ball to Leo Messi. After the game, the midfielder (who scored a fine goal of his own that day) joked that his pass had laid things up on a plate, and from then on Messi had it easy.


53,599 spectators. That was the attendance at the Camp Nou on the day of what is now remembered as Messi’s ‘Maradonian’ goal.


Dedication. Speaking afterwards to Barça TV, Messi said that he was dedicating the goal to Diego Armando Maradona, one of his greatest footballing influences.

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