Lionel Messi and Barcelona faced a tall task on Wednesday at Paris Saint-Germain in the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg. Barca needed a massive performance to come back from a 4-1 deficit. They didn't get it, despite having the chances, but Lionel Messi at least gave them hope, while also quite possibly scoring his last ever Champions League goal for the club.
With the Argentine superstar out of contract in the summer -- and with Manchester City and PSG linked to him -- he very well could be with a new team in a few months. If this was his Champions League swan song with Barca, it had some good and some bad.
Messi delivered an outrageous strike from way outside the box, beating Keylor Navas with a ball that moved in the air like a knuckleball to get his team believing at 1-1 in the first half. Take a look:
What a phenomenal, unexpected strike. That wasn't a shot you try to place, it is one you have to take with pace, and he pulled it off to perfection.
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Unfortunately for Messi, Navas quickly got revenge, stopping a penalty kick of his just before halftime. It took the wind out of Barcelona's sails and could be remembered as Messi's final moment in the UCL for Barca if he indeed does leave. Take a look:
Messi could be just months away from leaving the only professional club he's ever played for, which will be hard to swallow for Barca fans. Countless trophies, over 600 goals and enough highlight reels that will stand the test of time, it has been a wild wide so far.
For the sake of being positive, there is always the chance that Messi decides to renew his contract and stay with the club. There have been changes at Barca and more are to come. Barcelona will be hoping newly elected president Joan Laporta can do enough to convince him to stay. But fans won't know until the summer.