Messi’s penalty pass was for me: Neymar

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Barcelona, Feb 15 (IANS) Barcelona forward Neymar has revealed that his team-mate Lionel Messi’s “Johan Cryuff” style penalty kick was meant for him and not Luis Suarez who scored.

Messi walked up to the spot to take the kick during their Spanish League match against Celta Vigo on Sunday with the score line reading 3-1 in favour of the Catalan giants. The Argentine ran up and then passed it to an onrushing Suarez who buried the ball into the net to make it 4-1.

“It was for me, we had practiced it in training,” Neymar was quoted as saying by the Independent on Monday.

“Leo (Messi) and myself had practiced but Luis was closer and he scored it.”

The Brazilian, however, added that for him friendship was the most important thing and it does not matter as to who scores the goal as long as they are winning.

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“Our friendship is the most important thing. It doesn’t matter who scores the goals just that we win the games,” he said.

Barcelona skipper Andres Iniesta admitted that he had never seen his team-mates practice the trick in training but added that it was “perhaps” meant for Neymar.

“I had never seen them do it but I had heard them discuss it,” he said.

“Perhaps it was for Neymar but Luis was there, so he converted it.”

Dutch great Johan Cruyff, who played and managed Barcelona during his illustrious career, pulled off a similar trick while playing for Ajax against Helmond Sport in 1982, squaring the ball for teammate Jesper Olsen, who then passed it back to him to score.

Frenchmen Robert Pires and Thierry Henry tried a similar trick for Arsenal against Manchester City in 2005 but got into a muddle and failed to score.

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