Lionel Messi is a better goal scorer when the ball is in motion than when it lies stationary just 12 yards away from the opponents’ goal.
Messi missed a penalty kick Sunday in Barcelona’s win over Athletic Bilbao in the first round of the 2015-16 La Liga (Spanish first division) season. Goalkeeper Gorka Iraizoz denied Messi’s spot-kick in the 31st minute.
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The penalty miss was Messi’s 14th in 63 attempts from the spot in his Barcelona career. Penalty-kick expert Ben Lyttleton explained earlier this year how Messi has tried, and failed, with a new approach from the spot.
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While the soccer world expects a better conversion rate from one of the all-time greats, we also must tip our collective cap to Iraizoz, who joins select company.
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Messi’s miss didn’t prevent him from doing something more Messi-like later in the game. His run and blocked shot bamboozled defenders and drew gasps.
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That’s more like it.
Thumbnail photo via Twitter/@MARCAinENGLISH