Neymar Says Messi’s Contentious Penalty Pass Was Meant for Him, Not Suárez

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By now, you’ve probably watched Messi’s penalty pass in yesterday’s Barcelona-Celta mathup 100 times. It was an ode to solidarity on the soccer pitch – a wonderful moment to celebrate Valentine’s Day by sharing a goal with some of your teammates.

It was one of those plays that looks better in the replay than in real time, because the first time it catches you by surprise, just like it did with Celta de Vigo’s defenders. You might have seen how Twitter went crazy over it:

Surely, you’ve even caught wind of the debate surrounding the style of the penalty pass, and how it’s disrespectful to the other team.

You wake up on Monday morning with a smile on your face, remembering that even if the statistics say it was a missed penalty for Messi, you just witnessed art. Penalties might be the only aspect of the game in which Barcelona does not excel, having missed six of the last 14. Then you check the reactions and hear Neymar say something like this: “It was for me, we had practiced it in training!”

Yep, that’s right. Neymar even went on to say, “Leo and myself had practiced, but Luis was closer and he scored it.” In celebration, Neymar covered his mouth. Some teammates say he was jokingly complaining to Suárez.

All is good between the two players; according to the Brazilian, “Our friendship is the most important thing. It doesn’t matter who scores the goals, just that we win the games.” Some have said that it was better for Suárez to ruin the plan. Imagine what the outrage would be like now if the young Brazilian, one of the most hated players in the game, had done just that.