Defending Lionel Messi free kicks is one of the most terrifying experiences for a soccer team. If he strikes it the way he wants, which happens more often than not, there’s likely nothing an opponent can do to prevent a goal on a free kick from within 20-25 yards. Messi has scored 19 free kicks since the start of the 2017-18 season.
You can’t blame Real Sociedad for its tactics to defend against a Messi free kick on Saturday at the Camp Nou.
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Locked in a scoreless battle in the second half, Messi stepped up behind a free kick to see the entire Sociedad squad in the box. The visitors didn’t worry about allowing Barcelona players to position themselves deep in the box without fear of being offside, instead focusing on blocking a path to goal for Messi’s god-like left foot.