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Cruyff: Messi penalty was entertaining not provocative

Former Barcelona great Johan Cruyff believes critics are wrong to suggest Lionel Messi’s cheeky penalty combination with Luis Suarez  was provocative.

During Barcelona’s 6-1 thrashing of Celta Vigo, Messi used his penalty kick to set up Suarez for his third goal of the game.

Instead of shooting directly from the spot, Messi rolled the ball slightly forward for the Uruguayan forward to run onto and finish before the Celta defenders could stop him.

In doing so, Messi emulated the actions of Cruyff – who in 1980 passed a penalty to team-mate Jesper Olsen during his time at Ajax, before receiving a return ball and tapping home.

And Cruyff questioned why anyone would criticise the Argentinian for his ingenuity.

“Football is for fun and Messi gives fun to all,” Cruyff told Sport.

“I was very happy [with the penalty]. I share ideas with players who dare to do this kind of thing.”

Cruyff said Messi was trying to entertain, not provoke, with the piece of quick thinking that “could not be faulted”. 

Wed 17 Feb, 2016
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