Jerome Boateng Takes the Anniversary of Being Owned By Messi in Stride

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It's been five years since Lionel Messi put Jerome Boateng on the wrong end of the highlight reel, and the German defender is well aware.

It was the first leg of the 2015 Champions League semifinals that pitted Barcelona and Pep Guardiola-coached Bayern Munich in a headlining matchup between two powerhouses. It was a tight first leg at Camp Nou until the wheels fell off, with Messi scoring in the 77th and 80th minutes and Neymar tacking on a dagger deep into stoppage time to all but seal Barcelona's passage to the final.

It was that second goal that had the world talking, though. Messi, having just scored minutes earlier, went right at Boateng, crossing him up with a dribble as the defender toppled to the ground like a tree being chopped with an axe. The Argentine star then sent a deft chip over goalkeeper Manuel Neuer to send the home supporters–and, of course, social media (the memes! Oh, the memes)–into a frenzy.

Boateng is surely reminded of this moment every May 6, and on the five-year anniversary, he owned it–while throwing a bit of a jab back at Messi. A year earlier, it was Boateng who was one of the stars of the show as his Germany beat Messi's Argentina in the World Cup final, and he played that card in response to the extra attention he was getting Wednesday.

"Here you go - something to laugh these tough days. I'll get some popcorn meanwhile ... and watch World Cup final 2014 afterwards," Boateng tweeted, before finishing with a playful, "You can stop tagging me now I know it's 5 years today."

Barcelona went on to win the Champions League after ousting Bayern on a 5-3 aggregate, beating Juventus, 3-1, in the final.

Both Boateng and Messi are on the verge of returning to action for their clubs after their respective leagues were put on hold due to the coronavirus outbreak. Boateng's Bayern Munich is slated to resume playing first, with the Bundesliga getting the green light to return with matches behind closed doors later this month. Messi, meanwhile, was pictured showing up for Barcelona's limited training with a mask and gloves, as Spain's clubs begin the process of regularly testing players while the decision over La Liga's future hangs in the balance.