Barcelona talisman, Lionel Messi has continued to honour Argentine hero and football icon, Diego Maradona as he scored on his return to action against Osasuna in La Liga.
Maradona had died on Wednesday due to cardiac arrest at the age of 60. Despite the controversy surrounding the death of the legend and other dramas, Messi dedicated a goal to him in the game Barcelona won 4-0.
It could be recalled that Messi was rested for the 4-0 win against Dynamo Kiev in the Champions League on Tuesday. On his return to action on Sunday he scored the fourth goal and celebrated by revealing a Newell’s Old Boys shirt in Maradona’s honour.
Messi started his football career at Newell’s before joining Barcelona at the age of 13. Maradona was on the books at the Rosario-based club at around the same time, toward the end of his playing career.
The Argentine club before their game against Boca Juniors at the weekend took a minute to applaud the 1986 world cup winner.
Minuto de aplausos para #D10S antes del inicio del partido ante Boca.#DiegoEterno ♾ pic.twitter.com/DqA3nxV26G— Newell's Old Boys (@CANOBoficial) November 29, 2020
The club further lauded Messi for the impeccable act.
ETERNITY. #Newells ❤️🔟🖤♾ https://t.co/5YV7Zvk8hF— Newell's Old Boys (@CANOBoficial_en) November 29, 2020
THE ART OF FOOTBALL IN TWO COLOURS.— Newell's Old Boys (@CANOBoficial_en) November 29, 2020
❤️🔟🖤 #Newells https://t.co/LLbR0ZNHLq
Barcelona pays homage to Maradona before few days before Messi scored
Being his former club, the Catalans had paid homage before kickoff to Maradona.
They initially fly the club’s flags at half-mast on Wednesday in honour of the legend, who played for the club in an eventful yet disappointing spell from 1982 to 1984.
A moment for Maradona. pic.twitter.com/aHbZ4P8wF4— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) November 30, 2020
They further hung a framed signed shirt of his above the presidential box while the players held a minute’s silence in front of an old Barca shirt bearing the No. 10.
Barcelona Vs Osasuna highlights
Barca begun the day 14th in La Liga and won comfortably with Martin Braithwaite, Antoine Griezmann and Philippe Coutinho also on the scoresheet.
Braithwaite, who scored twice against Kiev in midweek opened the scoring for Barca on his first La Liga start of the season with a scruffy strike in the 29th minute. The Danish striker bundled the ball over the line in a goalmouth scramble.
Griezmann continued his impressive performance to double the hosts’ advantage on 42 minutes with a stunning volley from just inside the penalty area following Jon Moncayola’s headed clearance.
Coutinho then scored the third from close range in the 52nd minute following good combination play from Braithwaite and Griezmann.
Minutes after Ousmane Dembele’s goal was ruled out for offside, Messi added the fourth for real with a shot from the edge of the box.
Speaking after the game to the press, Coutinho pointed out that Maradona deserves such honour.
Chemistry both on the field and on camera. @Phil_Coutinho & @AntoGriezmann pic.twitter.com/wt16c5Hyin— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) November 30, 2020
“Maradona deserved an emotional tribute like that, we have lost a global idol. Everyone in football admired him and we’ll all miss him,” Coutinho said.
Griezmann added: “We didn’t know what Messi had prepared in tribute to Maradona, it was a beautiful surprise.
“It was very important to win today because the teams at the top keep winning and we can’t afford to slip up any more. We know it will be difficult but we showed today we want to win the league and have a team capable of doing that.”
The win moves Barca to the 7th spot, three points behind Real Madrid in fourth and nine behind leaders Real Sociedad with a game in hand.