Story by: Ben Sanders
There isn’t much that render me speechless, but what Barcelona did on Wednesday in the UEFA Champions League did. What only happens in games of EA Sports FIFA 17 happened in real life at the Camp Nou.
Barcelona has been in a slump this season, struggling to have the imposing presence of years past and heavily relying on Lionel Messi. A season of transition, with new players not being able to adapt to the Tiki-Taka Barcelona way of play, cast doubt over the team by the time they traveled to France to play Paris Saint-Germain. PSG obliterated them 4-0.
Soccer is a game of few chances, so scoring comes at a premium. It is common practice to count out teams who have conceded three or more goals. There aren’t any extra points or 2-point conversions in soccer. Put the ball in the net and hope it ignites something.
Going into the Champions League second-leg, I would’ve wagered one of my legs on the tie being over and Barcelona being humiliated a second time. In the 62’ minute it was looking grim for Messi, Neymar and company as demonstrative PSG striker Edinson Cavani scored a vital away goal- away goals are the tie-breaker on aggregate- canceling out the three goals Barcelona scored early.
For the first time since his highly controversial move from Santos to Barcelona– which is still being investigated in Spanish courts– Neymar truly took over a game in a way his compatriot Messi usually does. I am sure Messi is a being planted by a higher power to distract soccer fans from our dreary, everyday lives-but that is a story for another day.
What happened next will leave me in shock for days, maybe weeks. In the space of seven minutes Neymar scored a sumptuous free kick, won and converted a penalty and played a simply marvelous chip to the much-criticized Sergio Roberto to score in the dying seconds.
For those of you who stayed with me, it is now 6-5 in favor of Barcelona and I am on my couch trying to comprehend what I just witnessed. I tried here, but no formation of words possibly could.
This was the greatest soccer game of all time. The greatest comeback of all time. Sorry Patriots fans, but not even Tom Brady could top that.
Featured image for this post courtesy of fcbarcelona.com