You’ve probably heard that Leo Messi and Luis Suarez successfully performed something of an audacious penalty in Barcelona’s 6-1 win over Celta Vigo at the weekend.
If not, welcome back to planet Earth, and here it is:
What amazed me – and others – is how many people considered the penalty to be disrespectful to the opposition. This is 100% not a view that I share.
Barcelona were 3-1 up at the time of the penalty. It was audacious, yes. But it was glorious, entertaining and fun. Isn’t that what the beautiful game is supposed to be?
When a player nutmegs another player, that can be very humiliating for the opposing player. Yet nobody considers that to be disrespectful. But why this?
Eamon Dunphy had a strong opinion about it. “I thought it lacked class,” the 70-year-old said on 2FM. “You have to respect your opponents and you have to respect the history of the game. None of the great players of the past would have ever dreamt of doing anything like that.”
Of course, Eamon must have forgotten the great Johann Cruyff who scored an identical penalty with a little help from Jepser Olsen while playing for Ajax in December 1982. He also said in the same interview that Messi “was way out of order, he should apologise and if he doesn’t, he loses a little in my eyes.”
Eamon isn’t alone. People went bezerk on Twitter. Yet, I fail to see how it is disrespecting the opponents. I thought it was entertaining, cheeky, and most importantly, fun – much like a nutmeg. Besides, isn’t the object of the game is to score as many goals as possible in order to win?
But I haven’t heard a strong argument as to how it is disrespectful. What did you think?
Let Rob know your thoughts via Twitter (@robsmithireland)