The Argentine learned the craft at La Masia and perfected it under the eye of Diego Maradona, making him a deadly opponent – even behind a wallWith free-kick goals in three consecutive La Liga games, Lionel Messi has proven in recent weeks that he is a master of one of football’s most difficult arts. But his ability from dead balls is no accident – rather, it is the culmination of years of honing a craft that has made him such a deadly threat standing over a set-piece.
In 2005, Barcelona staged a showcase for the young stars of La Masia. The format was simple: each child would tell the camera, “Remember my name” – some with more confidence than others, having first demonstrated their skills.
A young Argentine by the name of Lionel Messi closed out the video, having already made his first team debut the previous year. Messi let loose with a spectacular free-kick that flew into the corner of the net, a strike that sent tongues wagging inside and out of the club. Ironically, however, he was not known for his set-piece prowess.