On Thursday night Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi showed the world that he's still one of the most unselfish players on the planet. The six-time Ballon d'Or winner gave up a chance to grab his hat-trick and instead chose to let Antoine Griezmann take a penalty three minutes into stoppage time so the Frenchman could get on the scoresheet against Getafe. Barcelona eventually eased past Getafe to remain in the fierce title race that keeps heating up as the LaLiga season enters the business end of the campaign.
Messi gave Barcelona an early lead at the Camp Nou with the help of a pin-point pass from Sergio Busquets in the 8th minute but Getafe pulled level through an own goal by Clement Lenglet. The visitors then conceded a calamitous own goal themselves when Sofian Chakla's backpass deceived keeper David Soria and trickled over the line.
Messi got his second goal of the night before half-time to move on to 25 LaLiga goals this season but the Catalans slowed down in the second half and Turkey forward Enes Unal made for an interesting finish by converting a penalty in the 69th minute, following a VAR review for a foul by Ronald Araujo. The Uruguayan centre-back, however, made amends just a few minutes later by heading in Messi's corner in the 87th minute. Antoine Griezmann then slammed in a penalty in added time after being deployed to spot-kick duties by Messi who was on a hat-trick.
The win put Barcelona back up to third place on 68 points, five behind leaders Atletico Madrid but with a game in hand. However, netizens were quick to notice that Messi offered Greizmann the penalty late in the game despite being on a hat-trick himself.
Messi is currently leading the race for the Pichichi Trophy with 25 goals and will need to keep scoring to fend off competition from Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema (21 goals). However, the Argentine thought of his teammate Griezmann, who had in fact won the penalty, instead of himself and earned plenty of praise from fans on social media for his selfless gesture. Griezmann wasn't having the best of games against Getafe but made no mistake with his spot-kick.
Messi allowed Griezmann to take the penalty instead of scoring a hat-trick. Lmao! If there's anyone that doesn't like Messi, that person genuinely needs help oh.— BeksFCB (@Joshua_Ubeku) April 22, 2021
Messi gave Griezmann the penalty when he could have scored an hatrick, most selfless player in football history.— valking ♔ (@_VALKlNG) April 22, 2021
Leo Messi could’ve scored a hattrick but awarded the penalty to Antoine Griezmann— Sara 🦋 (@SaraFCBi) April 22, 2021
My Captain 🇦🇷🐐 pic.twitter.com/SxIcMzOMUy
The Barcelona I love to see— Daniel Black (@Itzdanielblack) April 22, 2021
Messi gave up his 3rd goal for Griezmann
My 🐐🐐🐐🐐🐐 pic.twitter.com/VfBZEcUiTG
The Frenchman was extremely thankful to Messi for his generosity and made sure to show his appreciation. As Messi was walking away, Griezmann caught him by surprise as he gave him a warm embrace.