Did we say Leo Messi is the best footballer in the world? Maybe we did. But did we also mention he had the fitness and strength of Hercules and the will of Bismarck.
Check out that third goal created and finished by Messi. Tell us in the 88th minute of a match, ANY match, if an ordinary mortal would have the legs and the passion to get to that ball from Dani Alves as displayed by Messi and we'll show you how to transform Katy Perry into a real chanteuse. It was a beautiful cross by Alves but it was Messi's desire and fight to get past that Leverkusen defense leaving us slack jawed as he latched onto the ball turning it into goal. Just when you ran out of superlatives.
See in the 88th minute leading 2-1 on the road, you are dreaming off that warm soak in the bath tub with a companion to sud you up.
Gerard Pique victimized by Osasuna over the weekend was left out. Mascherano was at centre half partnering Puyol. Meanwhile, Barca's next generation, hastened through injury and attrition was ready to take to the pitch. Fabregas is already a staple but add Thiago and Isaac Cuena to the mix. Leverkusen did mount a brief comeback through a very potent header by Michael Kadlec with former Spurs man Vedran Corluka doing all the spadework.
The German club were also denied by Victor Valdes as the Barca goalie got his fingertips deflecting Gonzalo Castro's slanted grounder onto the upright. Barca march on with a brace from Sanchez and the sublime Messi goal virtually assured of a place in the last eight.