It’s a perfect time to remember that day in which Lionel Messi completely silenced the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium in the Champions League semis.
Now that FC Barcelona is about to play another Champions League semifinals next week, it’s a perfect day to remember when he silenced the Bernabeu.
It was during the third year of the brilliant Pep Guardiola era, the first year in which Jose Mourinho took command of Real Madrid.
The Portuguese manager had one of the worst seasons of his career against this FC Barcelona squad that was led by an outstanding Lionel Messi.
The Argentine was already going through his third year of complete dominance in the world of football, this took place exactly 8 years ago today.
Tensions were extremely high between both Spanish giants, they were facing each other in the continental tournament semifinals and the Copa del Rey final as well.
Los Blancos were coming from an unexpected victory in the domestic tournament with a Cristiano Ronaldo header and they were feeling extra confident for this match.
Jose Mourinho was adamant on getting Lionel Messi as far away from the ball as possible and he attempted to do this by placing defender Pepe as a midfielder.
The Portuguese player’s capabilities were more related to destruction rather than creation inside the pitch.
Se cumplen 8 años de aquella mágica noche del Barça en el Bernabéu con un gol de Messi para el recuerdo. Ni en las próximas 100 vidas, los madridistas verán tanto fútbol. pic.twitter.com/queIsiIqAK
— Iniestazo (@Don_Iniestazo) April 27, 2019
The first half at the Bernabeu
Mourinho’s plan appeared to work very well during the first half as Pepe dominated the whole time through his rough game.
However, the second half brought us a controversial call from the referee that will go down in history as a divisive call.
Brazilian Daniel Alves suffered an apparently violent foul from Pepe and the Real Madrid player received a red card, this left Los Blancos with 10 players.
The whole Santiago Bernabeu was fuming after this decision that was deemed unfair by pretty much everybody who was rooting for the local squad.
Jose Mourinho even famously complained about the referees after the match because he felt he was being robbed by UEFA.
The game was completely different after that moment, Messi suddenly felt free to roam around the whole pitch and he knew his moment would come.
The Argentine was only waiting for the ideal moment to strike and the key moments of the match took a while to get there.
The final 15 minutes of the match were absolutely riveting for everybody who watched the game on that evening.
This Champions League semifinal won’t be remembered for that red card on Pepe, people will remember Messi after that.
Champions League semi-final. At your biggest rivals. Masterclass. pic.twitter.com/8Ozl7agrW6
— B/R Football (@brfootball) April 27, 2019
Leo appears to save the day near the end of the match
With 15 minutes left on the clock, there was only the chance that Lionel Messi could create in order to get a decent advantage for his squad.
Ibrahim Affellay played one of the few good matches of his career with Barcelona on that evening, he got on the pitch with 20 minutes left on the clock to help his teammates.
The Dutchman was the first player who made a difference as he sent Messi a direct cross from the right flank and Leo only had to push the ball inside.
But the second goal that came after that was the one that made the whole Santiago Bernabeu die in silence.
Sergio Busquets saw Messi approaching him in the final third of the pitch with three minutes left on the clock.
The midfielder only left the ball to the Argentine and Messi began his work of art from that point.
As he started waltzing through defenders like they were traffic cones, Messi started creating his own path until he had the opening to take a shot.
He planted himself right in front of Iker Casillas after getting past five defenders and finished with his right foot, a crossed shot to the bottom corner.
Messi had just scored one of the best goals of his entire career. It’s crazy to think that this happened eight years ago today already.
📍 Santiago Bernabéu
🐐 GO-LA-ZO pic.twitter.com/6JfT5A2o5m
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona_es) April 27, 2019
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