The Warm-Up: Lionel Messi is unfair
Plus, Real Madrid are toilet, the FA Cup is still magic and Newport fans are top drawer.
MONDAY’S BIG STORIES
That pass from Lionel Messi
Six players taken clean out of the game with a 10-yard pass. It defies the laws of physics, and pretty much every other law going.
The 31-year-old is the greatest player to ever play the game. That is surely now taken as a given. But he is evolving into an even better player. He has clocked the game of football. Skynet has already happened. There is no way this fella is human. Not having it.
Messi is a flawless footballer. Take for example his goal on Sunday night - it combined the complete disregard for his own safety that usually marks the play of a player of, say, Lee Cattermole's calibre with the genius that is Messi.
With three Getafe players converging on him and the ball, the Argentine backs himself to not allow the fairly burly players to nail him but also flick the ball through the keeper's legs.
Genuinely unbelievable and he does it every week. The Warm-Up is gushing.
Real Madrid are pants at football
Vinicius Junior felt he should have a had a penalty on his full Real Madrid debutPA Sport
Here are the highlights:
However, is it actually a real surprise they are such a sorry state? Truth be told, they were a cup team in Zinedine Zidane's last year at the club, finishing a sorry 17 points off the pace in third.
Then this summer they were shorn of their best player, Cristiano Ronaldo. Now, The Warm-Up might not hold a UEFA A licence but basic logic dictates that if a team are inferior to another team then the best way to close that gap over the course of a 38-game season is probably not to flog your best player.
In fact, Madrid's biggest issue this season is their inability to score at a rate befitting a team that has designs on challenging for league titles: they have a paltry 26 in the league. If only there were a player in world football that could guarantee a team at least 40 goals a season. If there was a player like that then surely no club in their right mind would sell said player. Oh.
Yup, if Florentino Perez wants to arrest this slide to mediocrity then he should just re-sign Cristiano Ronaldo, or maybe he should never, ever have let him go in the first place.
The FA Cup is still magic
The above proves that the magic of the FA Cup lives on. Some of the allure has gone, and, alas, football's obsession with monetising everything that moves is largely at fault for that.
So there is some sort of poetic beauty to the fact that clubs run on a fraction of the budget of Premier League and Championship clubs can just rock up and do the business.
HEROES AND ZEROES
Heroes - these Newport County fans
LOOOOOOOL (Laugh out out out out out our out loud)
Zero - FA Cup scheduling
It is currently a disgrace. Apparently no one cares for the FA Cup anymore.
Just have them all at 3pm on a Saturday, so match-going fans can actually have a decent time to work with.
Come for that but stay for the banging list of absolute balls ups he lists in the written media. Top work.
" A beauty from the 1998 World Cup when trouble broke out between rival fans in Marseille and the gendarmes waded in. One reporter’s news desk was baffled to read that vanloads of John Barnes had arrived on the scene."
A vanload of John Barnes would sort anything out.
FA Cup weekend seems like as good a time as any to remind oneself of this iconic Ronnie Radford goal that saw non league Hereford knock Newcastle out back in 1972.
The BDO darts is in full swing and producing some cracking matches and moments. Follow it live on Eurosport and Quest.
Football-wise, Liverpool take on Wolves in the FA Cup.