The Argentinian might have made a failed play to leave the Camp Nou this summer, but it’s clear from his performances in Barca’s pre-season friendlies that he’ll be as central as ever to their success this season.
Although it was Antoine Griezmann who fired Barcelona in front in just the second minute on Saturday and Jordi Alba who registered the assist, it was Messi who sent tongues wagging in the Catalan giants’ traditional curtain-raiser with a defense-splitting pass.
Twitter was quickly set ablaze by the move as fans gushed over the playmaker’s ball to Alba.
“Pirlo would be proud of this pass,” wrote one fan, while another suggested Messi’s passing range is “ridiculous.”
It isn’t the first time Messi has impressed in pre-season for Barca, despite his attempt to engineer a move away from the club in the summer.
The 33-year-old played a similarly sublime pass in the buildup to Philippe Coutinho’s opener against Girona on Wednesday before firing home twice from outside the area to hand Barcelona a 3-1 win:
The Blaugrana will open their La Liga season next Sunday at home to Villarreal, as Barca seek to regain their title from Real Madrid.
During his time at the club, Messi has helped Barcelona win La Liga no fewer than 10 times, as well as winning four UEFA Champions Leagues and eight Copas del Rey.
FC Barcelona, Joan Gamper Trophy, La Liga, Ronald Koeman, Elche CF, Antoine Griezmann, Lionel Messi
Actu monde – US – ‘Pirlo would be proud’: Messi shows he’s still fired up at Barcelona with STUNNING pass in pre-season win (VIDEO)