You know it’s been a successful writers’ festival when it generates a “Clarification of FFA Chairman comments” media release late on a Sunday afternoon.
Barcelona ace Lionel Messi has praised Cristiano Ronaldo after he pulled off a sensational hat-trick that saw his side make a brilliant comeback from being 2-nil down in Juventus’ UEFA Champions League last-16 tie against Atletico Madrid.
“What Cristiano and Juventus did on Tuesday was impressive,” Messi told Catalunya Radio.
“It was a big surprise. I thought Atletico would be a lot stronger, but Juve were all over them and Cristiano had a magical night.”
Messi has been in sensational form throughout the season and one could see him at his very best against Olympique Lyonnais when Barça absolutely hammered the French side by a massive margin of 5-1, booking their passage into the Champions League quarter-finals.
Messi finished the game with two goals and two assists, becoming the first player in UCL history to do so.
The Catalan giants were under the pump having drawn 0-0 in the away leg of the fixture.
Messi opened the scoring for his side from the penalty spot before Philippe Coutinho doubled the lead just before the break.
While Lucas Tousart’s effort for the visitors sent some nerves chilling in the Barça camp, the home side did well to extend their lead.
Messi created goals for Gerard Pique and Ousmane Dembele, and bagged a second strike himself.
Lyon coach Bruno Genesio said: “Tonight Messi was in Champions League mode. He’s a genius and can do things that nobody else can. Sometimes he is just unstoppable.”
When the opposition coach speaks such highly of you, you know that you have done a wonderful job for your side and that is what Leo did.
With Barca being through to the last eight, rival clubs will be keen to avoid Messi and Co. in Friday’s quarter-final draw.