One year ago: Messi torched Boateng with Champions League goal
One year ago Friday, Lionel Messi scored one of the goals of his career and put Jerome Boateng on the wrong side of social media memes everywhere.
Messi's goal against Bayern Munich, his second in three minutes, gave Barcelona a commanding edge in their UEFA Champions League semifinal series, which Barcelona went on to win 5-3 on aggregate en route to lifting the trophy.
The signature moment was Messi's 80th-minute goal, in which he took a pass from Ivan Rakitic and twisted and crossed over Boateng–whose Germany beat Messi's Argentina in the 2014 World Cup champion final–to the point that he fell like a tree being chopped in a forest. Messi then chipped Manuel Neuer, sending the Camp Nou faithful into a frenzy and Barcelona on its way to a victory. Neymar added a third goal in stoppage time–off a Messi assist–to put Bayern in an unassailable 3-0 hole.
"It's astonishing! It's absolutely world-class!" announcer Martin Tyler bellowed on his call of the goal.
"A lot of people who are friends of mine texted me and called me," Boateng told SI's Grant Wahl in January. "[Mario] Balotelli made a nice comment on Instagram. I had a lot of positive comments. Of course I was angry because it became a goal. I wasn’t angry because I fell, because that happens sometimes, or because I looked bad in that situation. In football that can happen to anybody. Messi is for me the best player in the world. He’s so quick. So it was unlucky. One year before [when Bayern beat Barcelona] I was in the better position. It’s always like that. Sometimes positive, sometimes negative, but I keep going."
This season, Messi and Boateng have something in common. Both were eliminated from the Champions League by Atletico Madrid, which sets up the second all-Madrid final in three seasons.