Insider: What Maradona Told Messi About Free-Kicks
Insider: What Diego Maradona Told FC Barcelona's Lionel Messi About Free-Kicks
With FC Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi having now scored with a free-kick in three consecutive LaLiga games, a former Argentina insider has credited the Albiceleste star's set-piece evolution to a piece of advice he received from the legendary Diego Maradona.
Messi’s latest free-kick goal helped Barcelona beat Atletico Madrid 1-0 in their top-of-the-table clash on Sunday, which opened an eight-point gap between Barca and Diego Simeone's side at the summit of LaLiga.
It was Messi's third free-kick goal in just eight days, taking his overall LaLiga set-pieces account to 24 – more than any other player in Spanish league history since data therefor was first recorded in 1993/94.
Former Argentina fitness coach Fernando Signorini has now recalled how Messi was not always prolific in scoring free-kicks, and revealed how some advice from then national team coach Maradona helped him perfect his set-pieces.
"I started walking to where Diego (Maradona) was, and at the same moment I see Messi place the ball down," he told LaSexta, as quoted by Marca.
"He takes three shots and misses all three, and turned to us with a look of clear frustration.
"He turns towards the dressing room and I shout 'No' before hugging him and telling him that the best player in the world can't leave a training session like that.
"Diego arrives and they talk to each other, the world seems to stop at that moment.
"He places the ball in the same place and then gives some very paternal words.
"He told him not to take his foot off the ball so quickly when he takes a free-kick."
Do you think Messi is the best free-kick taker in football right now? Have your say in the comments section below.