Friday 15 December 2017

Video: Did Messi and Suarez secretly pay tribute to Johan Cruyff?

Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi celebrate
Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi celebrate

Simon Rice

The news that football legend Johan Cruyff has died has led some to ask whether Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez were paying tribute to the Dutchman with their recent outrageous penalty.

The Barcelona strikers combined during last month's 6-1 win over Celta Vigo to score from the spot in a fashion reminiscent of one of Cruyff's defining moments.

Instead of shooting direct from the penalty spot, Messi rolled the ball to his right before Suarez ran on to it and thumped it into the back of the net.

In 1982, Cruyff and his Ajax team-mate Jesper Olsen did the same thing in a match against Helmond Sport.

Former Barcelona player Cruyff spoke about the  penalty, revealing it had made him "very happy".

"It made me very happy what Messi did," Cruyff said. "I don't know if he saw [my own] move, maybe he did, but if anyone can do anything like that, it is him. Then I saw people were talking about my penalty. It makes you happy for people to remember you after so many years. It's lovely - the things football gives you."

Messi did not speak about why he performed the move but his rival Cristiano Ronaldo made a cryptic comment when asked about it.

“I know why he did it and I am not going to say anything more than that. You can think whatever you like,” said Ronaldo.

(© Independent News Service)

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