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Lionel Messi lost a shoe, then danced past Real Madrid for an assist anyway

Lionel Messi celebrates in front of Real Madrid fans after the second Barcelona goal of Saturday’s 3-0 Clasico win. (Getty)

If there is one iconic image from Barcelona’s 3-0 Clasico victory over Real Madrid on Sunday, there is little doubt what it will be. It’s Messi, standing in front of a fuming Santiago Bernabeu crowd, his arms outstretched, his greatness welcoming the hate and frustration.

That was after Messi scored Barcelona’s second goal from the penalty spot. But the craziest image of the day might just be of the third goal – specifically, of Messi’s creation of it.

Look closely:

Lionel Messi created Barcelona’s third goal with a pass to Aleix Vidal. (Getty)

Don’t see what’s out of the ordinary here? Maybe a few of the celebration shots will help:

Lionel Messi (right) and Aleix Vidal celebrate Vidal’s goal. (Getty)
Barcelona players celebrate their third goal against Real Madrid on Saturday. (Getty)

Yep, Messi created a goal against one of the best teams in the world with only one shoe on. You might not have realized it watching live, but here’s the replay:

It’s still somewhat difficult to notice, but Marcelo’s attempted tackle somehow takes Messi’s right boot off. Video from the sideline offers the best view of it:

But the Argentine genius continues his run as if nothing has happened, and cuts the ball back to the top of the penalty area with the outside of his left foot – which, to be fair, he might have done anyway.

Messi somehow isn’t an automatic pick for world player of the year. He lost the 2017 Ballon d’Or to Cristiano Ronaldo. But while Ronaldo is whiffing on shots like a Sunday leaguer, Messi is embarrassing one of the best teams in the world while wearing only one shoe.

Oh, and his Barcelona team is now 14 points ahead of Real Madrid in La Liga.