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Messi's first half goal against Osasuna

Messi X2
Messi X2
Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Today, at the 17:19 minute mark of the match between Barcelona FC and Osasuna at the Camp Nou, Lionel Messi scored another La Liga goal to remember.

The goal was not as flashy as his ( goal against Getafe, or his checkmate goal against Arsenal (, but it was the type of goal that few players would attempt quite the way he did, let alone get done with perfection, and then inspire his team with the effort.

His gifted left foot redirected an Alexis Sanchez pass across the box from right to left with a deft flick that put the ball on a rope along the pitch to the far left post of Andres Fernandez's goal. The ball was flicked ahead of the blocking attempt of Messi's marker, it rolled with pace by Fernandez's full-out stretch, continued by Pedro's attempt to poke it into the goal, and did not stop until the nets cradled it.

Redirecting the ball into a different direction from which it came is the norm, to keep the ball rolling in the direction it was already going in but with just the right angle, that is another skill all together (

The speed of mind and foot needed to reach the Sanchez cross was in and of itself an athletic feat given the closeness of the larger marking defender. Having reached the ball, the football IQ and touch necessary not to instinctively blast away, poke, or otherwise stroke the ball in at that close range, would be nearly impossible for most to accomplish. But to have figured out a redirect was all that was needed accomplished three things.

First, the ball was placed with precision both in the location and the pace of the shot, fast enough to evade the goalkeeper and any on-coming, sliding defender, and yet slow enough to allow the highest possible accuracy as the ball, on a point-of-impact to placement-in-the-net straight line had about 18 inches of room available, most of those taken up by the ball itself. The second was the score.

After the score, we get to the third accomplishment of the single act, the Messi squared moment.

Alexis Sanchez, the assist man on Messi's goal was then the recipient of a similar cross and without hesitation he simply redirected the ball, on the run, to the right corner of the goal, at the 21:41 mark. Alexis is skilled enough and has the football IQ to have figured out what to do on his own, but no one can say he did not have a replay of Messi's goal running when his chance came up. All he had to do was replay the replay.

This is Messi's genius X2.

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