Lionel Messi destroyed Man United with just four touches in 2019

Lionel Messi destroyed Man United in the 2018/19 Champions League

The 2018/19 season was one of Lionel Messi's finest in a Barcelona shirt.

Yes, the Spanish club collapsed towards the end of campaign, famously losing 4-0 to Liverpool in the second of their Champions League semi-final before being defeated in the Copa del Rey final by Valencia.

But they did at least win La Liga and from an individual perspective, 2018/19 ranks among the best seasons of Messi's illustrious career with the Blaugrana, the Argentine deservedly winning the 2019 Ballon d'Or for his efforts.

In his 50 appearances for the Catalan side across all competitions that campaign, the little genius scored 51 goals and produced 22 assists.

Those numbers really are scarily good and it was in the Champions League where we saw the very best of Messi in 2018/19.

The Argentine scored 12 goals in just 10 games, including braces against Tottenham, Liverpool and Manchester United.

Messi celebrates

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Messi's two-goal performance against the latter of those three teams was simply out of this world and his first strike that evening at Camp Nou was one of his finest ever.

The six-time Ballon d'Or winner stole the ball off Ashley Young, nutmegged Fred, ran to the edge of the 18-yard box and then unleashed an unstoppable left-footed strike into the far corner, all while taking just four touches.

This display of footballing efficiency really isn't talked about enough...

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A world-class solo goal in a Champions League knockout tie while taking only four touches of the ball? Only Messi could produce that.

Gary Lineker was on punditry duty for BT Sport that evening in Catalonia and the former Barcelona striker perfectly summed up Messi's moment of magic to open the scoring against United.

He posted on Twitter: "The incomparable Messi gives @FCBarcelona the lead. The nutmeg alone was exquisite, the finish sublime. Nobody else can do this."

The Match of the Day host is spot on. No one can else replicate what Messi does on a football pitch, not even Cristiano Ronaldo.

(Credit: The Football Terrace)

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