AP Photo/Manu Fernandez

Messi's penalty has sparked debate over sportsmanship. 

By SI Wire
February 15, 2016

Barcelona coach Luis Enrique came to the defense of star players Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez on Monday, saying there was nothing wrong with a controversial penalty kick the two executed during Sunday’s match against Celta Vigo, according to Sky Sports. 

With Barcelona already leading 3–1, Messi lined up for a penalty kick in the 82nd minute. However, instead of taking a shot on goal, he tapped the ball to his right, allowing Suarez to run in and claim the goal. 

The goal gave Suarez a hat trick. 

• Watch: Messi helps Luis Suarez score hat trick on PK

Enrique defended the play, saying Barcelona’s style is based on being entertaining. 

“There will be those who like it and those who don't,” Enrique told reporters. “As well as winning titles, here we try to entertain people and win in a spectacular and sporting manner.”

The coach also pointed to former Dutch national team and Barcelona great Johan Cruyff, who pulled off a similar penalty kick in 1982 while playing for Ajax.

“You can take a penalty like that, it's legal and there's a Cruyff penalty we all know.”

The goal is Suarez’s league-leading 23rd of the season. 

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