Less than three minutes into their first game of the season, Lionel Messi scored for Barcelona. I realize that the season literally just started and that there are still 9 months to go, but why even bother playing it out? Just last week I was saying that the English Premier League is exciting because you can't predict much this early in the season. You have a decent idea of who will likely finish at the top, but you don't know exactly who will win or in what order the teams will finish. That isn't really the case in La Liga. Barcelona completely dominated last year. If by chance there was anyone out there that questioned if they would dominate again, they wasted very little time answering the question.
The goal, although seemingly simple, is rather brilliant. Iniesta provides a great pass after drawing the defense to the left. Once everyone shifts, he just provides a beautiful through pass to Messi. Then Messi takes over with his amazing speed. He runs faster with the ball than the defender can run without it. But it's not just the speed, but also the fact that the ball stays so close to his feet the entire time. A lot of players are fast but they will often run so fast and touch the ball too far in front of them so that the goalie or a defender can move in and take the ball away. Not Messi. He keeps the ball so close. Which allows him to finish here with the soft chip over the goalie. It's world class all the way. So soft and so smooth.
To add to the early dominance, the newly acquired David Villa also scored in his Barcelona debut. This team is ridiculous. Just crown them champions now and cancel the season or acknowledge that everyone else is already playing for second place.
Somewhat related, but not really, Carlos Tevez had a fantastic miss on Sunday. It's only somewhat related because two months ago in the World Cup it seemed like Tevez couldn't miss, well, until he and the rest of Argentina met Germany. But Messi, much to the surprise of most fans, didn't score a single goal in the World Cup. Now that La Liga is back up, Messi seems to already be back in stride and looks like he hasn't missed a beat. Not that Tevez is off in the Premier League by any means. I just love the announcer when Tevez misses. He's as surprised as everyone else.