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05th May 2019

Lionel Messi has a challenger for free-kick of the week

Wayne Farry

sligo rovers free kick

“If Lionel Messi did this everyone would be talki….”

Any time someone scores a mildly good goal, stupid people everywhere pop up saying ‘If Messi scored this everyone would be talking about it, but because it was scored by [insert lesser footballer here] it’ll go under the radar’.

This argument is stupid because a) good goals get coverage no matter who scores them and b) Messi is so fucking good that he scores stunners almost every week that get little more reaction than ‘Oh look, the GOAT has done it again’.

Messi scored one of his most astonishing ever goals against Liverpool in Barcelona’s 3-0 victory over the Reds on Wednesday, sending a free-kick into the top corner from a ludicrous distance.

On Saturday evening, League of Ireland side Sligo Rovers faced Shamrock Rovers in slightly less glamorous surroundings than the Camp Nou, but the crowd at the Showgrounds were – like those in Catalonia during the week – treated to a stunning goal.

The free-kick came courtesy of Jack Keaney. As the game entered its final stages and with the score 1-1, the 20-year-old midfielder stepped up roughly 30 yards out from goal.

With a five-man wall in front of him, Keaney curled a David Beckham-esque free-kick over it and beyond the keeper into the top corner.

It was enough to win the game, and prompt a tweet from his club which stated: “You thought the best free-kick you saw this week was Lionel Messi. Step forward Jack Keaney.”

Perhaps a slight overstatement, but it is a beauty.