Leo Messi Leads Athletic Defenders on a Merry Dance

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Barcelona beat Athletic Club Bilbao 5-2 this weekend. Pedro scored the fifth, with an assist from Sergio Busquets, but the goal was all about Leo Messi.

Watch above as he happily dribbles across the top of the box only to turn around and come back, sucking Athletic defenders toward him as he goes, before finally releasing the ball to Busquets with a flick.

My sympathies are with the Athletic defenders here; they have the classic Messi problem. Because he’s dribbling with two feet and can change direction faster than anyone can realistically react, and because they don’t want to foul him at the top of the box, Athletic’s defenders are all terrified of stepping in to tackle him.

But once enough of them are in his orbit, Messi can flick to his teammates to do the rest. Just another reason why we love Leo Messi, and defenders hate playing against him.

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