Messi shines in Barcelona closed door affair against Las Palmas

Lionel Messi,Barcelona, Camp Nou closed doors

LaLiga – Spanish top division football has a rich history. There wasn’t a single occasion in 89 year history that a full match has been played behind closed doors. But, Sunday’s Barcelona tie against Las Palmas will go down in history as first.

Lionel Messi might have given his one of exceptional performance in 3-0 win, scoring a brace and assisting Sergio Busquets to open his account of the season, but it was a day which wasn’t about football. Catalonians were voting for independence referendum, and Barcelona forced to play a home game at Camp Nou.

Barcelona is symbolic to Catalans and the club must have stick to not to play the match, supporting the referendum. But, football would have lost its sense and politics have had played his role. Club president Josep Maria Bartomeu decides to go ahead in the match with closed doors for fans explaining the loss of six points.

He told BeIN Sports, “It would have been six points for not playing today. Three for not playing and another three as a result of sanction.”

“We regret what has happened in Catalonia today. It is denying of freedom of expression and we’re worried. We decided that instead of cancelling the game, which is what we wanted, it will be played behind closed doors. It was a way to show our rejection of what has been experienced today. It was not a security issue.”

Mr. Bartomeu played his political card very well, but let’s sees Catalonia agrees with his comment or not. There are more than 460 people hurt after Spanish police in riot gear stormed polling stations and seized ballot boxes in a last minute effort to prevent Catalonia’s independence referendum from going ahead on Sunday.

Messi did his job as he always do, scoring a second-half late brace taking his goal tally to 11 in 7 matches. He shined in Barcelona’s all seven win of the season, although it was special giving tribute to all injured fans taking part in independence referendum.

There wasn’t many fans to admire little magician effort in the game, but still a pitch invader manages to get the glimpse of his favourite stars. A closed door affair in 99,354 sitting capacity ground is a huge loss to the club, but it was an exceptional situation.

Club manager Ernesto Valverde stated as Marca reports, “it was an extraordinary act in an extraordinary situation. We played behind closed doors in a delicate moment for everyone. The impact of an empty Camp Nou is powerful, even more than not playing, although i don’t know.”


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