Lionel Messi: Barcelona players treated him like a celebrity after winning 2021 Copa del Rey | OneFootball

Lionel Messi: Barcelona players treated him like a celebrity after winning 2021 Copa del Rey

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Barcelona aren't exactly loving life with Lionel Messi.

While there is quiet promise surrounding the Xavi era with top young players like Pedri, Gavi and Ansu Fati coming through, it's certainly not all sunshine and rainbows at Camp Nou just yet.

Not only are the Blaugrana still wading through the financial crisis that meant they had to let Messi go in the first place, but they are struggling to deliver consistent results on the pitch either.

Barcelona in the Copa del Rey

The Catalan giants are currently languishing in sixth place in the La Liga table - seeing them trail Real Madrid by 17 points - while they prepare to get their Europa League campaign underway.

And there was similar misery for Barcelona in the Copa del Rey as their hopes of retaining the prestigious title were slashed by Athletic Bilbao this week in a crushing 3-2 defeat.

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Having seemingly saved themselves through Pedri's last-hasp equaliser, Barcelona were ultimately undone in extra time as Iker Muniain struck a 105th-minute winner from the penalty spot.

Victory at the Estadio San Mamés meant that Athletic exacted revenge on Barcelona having lost the previous year's final 4-0 to the Catalans for what turned out to be Messi's final trophy for the club.

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Barcelona players posing with Messi

It proved to be a memorable night for the seven-time Ballon d'Or winner as he scored Barca's third and fourth goals, including a stunning semi-individual effort from one end of the pitch to the other.

In fact, you only had to look at Barcelona's celebrations after the game to see just how much it meant to Ronald Koeman's squad to have shared such a historic victory with Messi as captain.

That's because footage of Barcelona players effectively acting as though Messi was a celebrity that they'd never met before has reemerged on Twitter to the tune of thousands of retweets and 'likes'.

The amusing video shows player after player after player queuing up to get a photograph with Messi and the Copa del Rey trophy in what feels like truly surreal scenes that you can check out below:

Messi's impact truly is remarkable.

Fair play to them

Now, don't get it twisted, we're not criticising the Barcelona players here because their photographs with Messi and the trophy captures a special memory that they will no doubt remember forever.

Frankly, we'd have been doing the exact same thing by lining up for a snap that you can show to the grandkids as proof that you were winning silverware with arguably the greatest athlete in history.

However, all that being said, it doesn't make the whole episode any less surreal because we're not sure that we've ever seen an instance of one player posing in every trophy photo before in football.

It really does go to show the extent to which Messi was simply on another level compared to his teammates in that fateful final year at Barca. Well, that and the fact that he's just an absolute icon.

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