In a 2015 La Liga match, Lionel Messi unselfishly gifted Neymar a penalty, jeopardizing his position in the Pichichi (La Liga top scorer) race against Cristiano Ronaldo.
On May 2, 2015, Barcelona bagged an emphatic 8-0 win over Cordoba in La Liga. Luis Suarez scored his first-ever hat-trick for the Blaugrana and Lionel Messi scored a brace, while Gerard Pique, Ivan Rakitic and Neymar each scored once in the rout.
Having scored two goals in the 46th and 80th minutes, Lionel Messi got the opportunity to complete his hat-trick when Neymar won a penalty in the 85th minute. The Argentinian was on 41 goals at the time, two goals clear of Cristiano Ronaldo (39) in the Pichichi race.
Instead of going for a hat-trick and trying to extend his lead over Ronaldo, Lionel Messi asked Neymar, who had not scored until then, to take the spot-kick. The Brazilian forward confidently put away the penalty to get on the scoresheet and complete the annihilation.
After the match, Neymar heaped praise on Lionel Messi, claiming that would never forget his act of kindness. He said (via Sport Bible):
“I won’t ever forget this detail. Messi is the best in the world and he could have easily scored a hat-trick and yet he let me take the penalty.
“I am so very grateful for that gesture. I’m learning so much from Messi every day, both from his football but also these gestures.”
Fans on Twitter have tipped their hats to Messi’s nature, dubbing him the “most unselfish player of all time.” Here’s how they have been reacting:
Lionel Messi ultimately lost the Pichichi race to Cristiano Ronaldo that season. The Portuguese superstar finished with 48 goals, five goals clear of the Argentina icon.
Cristiano Ronaldo calls himself “best player in the history of football”
Cristiano Ronaldo has always had a high opinion of himself, regularly dubbing himself the best in the business. His confidence is seen as arrogance by some, but the Portuguese ace has certainly managed to back up his claims over the course of his illustrious career.
In a recent interview with GOAL Arabia, Cristiano Ronaldo called himself the greatest player in the history of the sport. He claimed:
“I am the best player in the history of football.”
The Al-Nassr star has enjoyed his football since moving to Saudi Arabia in January. He has since featured in eight games in the Saudi Pro League, scoring nine times and claiming two assists.
The 38-year-old also fired on all cylinders in Portugal’s 2024 European Championship qualifier clashes against Liechtenstein and Luxembourg, bagging a brace in both matches.
With 122 goals in 198 games, Ronaldo is not only the leading scorer in international football history but he is also the most-capped player of all time.