‘He’s playing a different game’: Ferdinand leads praise for Messi after celebrating with Lineker as star netted 600th Barcelona goal – 14 years to the day after his first – with sublime 35-yard free-kick
- Lionel Messi scored twice in Barcelona’s 3-0 win over Liverpool on Wednesday
- It gives the Catalan giants a huge advantage going into the second leg at Anfield
- Rio Ferdinand and his fellow pundits have branded Messi the ‘best of all time’
- Messi scored his 599th and 600th goals, which included a sublime free-kick
- His 600th goal also comes exactly 14 years to the day after he netted his first
Lionel Messi has once again been lauded as the ‘greatest player of all time’ after scoring his 599th and 600th career goals in their 3-0 win over Liverpool on Wednesday night.
The Argentine talisman doubled Barcelona’s lead in the second half after collecting a lucky rebound off the crossbar with his chest before later curling in a sublime 35-yard free-kick to leave Liverpool with it all to do in the second leg of the Champions League semi-final.
The 31-year-old continues to deliver on the big stage and his performances never go unnoticed with his every move dissected by pundits and punters alike from across the globe.
Rio Ferdinand (back) and Gary Lineker (front) wildly celebrate Lionel Messi’s sublime free-kick
The two BT Sport pundits embrace each other following Barcelona’s third goal on Wednesday
Lineker raises his arms into the air after witnessing Messi’s brilliant free-kick at the Nou Camp
Following yet another magisterial display from the little magician, Rio Ferdinand was almost lost for words when trying to describe his influence against Jurgen Klopp’s men.
In the post-match analysis on BT Sport, Ferdinand said that one day, he would be able to tell his grandchildren that he was lucky enough to watch Messi play in person.
Ferdinand said to Gary Lineker: ‘I feel blessed. I was stood there thinking, “It’s too far (out)” but I don’t think I’ve given him enough credit. First time I saw it, I thought the goalkeeper (Alisson) could have done a bit better, maybe.
The 31-year-old celebrates in front of the home fans after scoring Barcelona’s third
The Argentine talisman scored a brilliant free-kick from 35 yards out against Liverpool
Messi managed to put the ball in the top left-hand corner of Alisson’s goal in the second half
Ferdinand (centre) described Messi as the ‘best player of all time’ after the 3-0 win
‘But it’s right in the top corner. From the distance he’s hit it, without much of a run up either, it’s exquisite.
‘I said beforehand when the game finished, he decided to take over this game and that’s how good a player he is. He can decide that. There’s probably only one or two players in the game ever that could do that.’
While Lineker and Ferdinand appeared composed when describing the free-kick after the game, their reaction to the goal as it happened was anything but.
Footage of the pair wildly celebrating the goal was released on Twitter and showed Lineker and Ferdinand embrace following the stunning free-kick from the Argentine.
Lineker could also be seen putting both hands in the air and saying, ‘Wow’ to other members of the BT Sport team off camera.
Messi 600th career goal came 14 years to the day after his first goal against Albacete
The Barcelona captain netted his first against Albacete in their La Liga clash in on May 1, 2005
Amazingly, Messi 600th career goal came 14 years to the day after his first goal for Barcelona, against Albacete in La Liga back in 2005.
He has now scored 368 goals more than any other player for the club and incredibly has a ratio of 0.9 goals per game.
Messi’s 600th goal was also the eighth direct free-kick he has scored this season and Ferdinand described him as being something from ‘another planet’.
‘He’s got everything. He’s one of the best, if not, the best player of all time. He’s just a phenomenal player.
‘To be here today, I’m delighted to be here. I feel blessed.’