Referee told Lionel Messi to "show some respect" to Liverpool after *that* free-kick 1 week ago

Referee told Lionel Messi to "show some respect" to Liverpool after *that* free-kick

"Show them some respect! Go! Every time, you do it..."

It looked for all the world like it was the free-kick that would take Barcelona to the 2019 Champions League final.

With minutes to go of the semi-final first leg with Liverpool, Lionel Messi steered an inch-perfect set-piece over the wall and into the top corner to put Barca 3-0 up in on the night and firmly on course - or so it seemed - for the final in Madrid.

Things didn't quite go to plan at Anfield, of course, but you probably can't blame Messi for milking the celebrations a little for what seemed like a tie-winning goal.

Newly released footage from Uefa shows, however, that the Argentine received a stern word from the referee for showing what he believed was a lack of respect to Jurgen Klopp's side.

Part of a new Uefa docu-series called Man In The Middle, which follows some of Europe's top officials as they take charge of some of the biggest games in the Champions League calendar, referee Björn Kuipers can be heard urging Messi to get back into position for play to restart after scoring his goal.


"Messi! Why? Come on," the Dutchman says. "Show them some respect! Go! Every time, you do it. Come on! Why do you do it?"

Messi's response can't be heard over the crowd noise, though his body language suggests he is perplexed by the referee's reaction.

Liverpool, of course, were able to complete a miraculous comeback in the second leg on Merseyside, beating Barca 4-0 to record a 4-3 aggregate win.

The first episode of Man In The Middle also offers a glimpse of how Champions League officials adapted to using VAR shortly after it was introduced in the competition in 2019.

Conversations between referees and video officials can be heard in the seconds leading up to Marcus Rashford's penalty for Manchester United against Paris Saint-Germain and the Mo Salah spot kick which sent Liverpool on their way to victory over Totteham in the final.