Lionel Messi's stunning effort for Paris against Manchester City has been voted UEFA Champions League Goal of the Group Stage.
Nearly 200,000 votes were cast for UEFA Champions League Goal of the Group Stage, with Lionel Messi's sensational Matchday 2 effort for Paris against Manchester City topping the poll.
The goal – a stunning first-time strike after a neat exchange with Kylian Mbappé – was Messi's first for the club; Paris ran out 2-0 winners. Thiago Alcántara's searing shot for Liverpool against Porto was second, with Robert Lewandowski's stunning bicycle kick on Matchday 5 coming in third.
Messi's goal received nearly a quarter of the total vote. There were ten goals nominated in all, with fans able to vote from 10:00 CET on Monday 13 December until 12:00 CET on Friday 17 December.
UEFA Champions League Goal of the Group Stage
1. Lionel Messi, Paris 2-0 Manchester City (Matchday 2) – 22% of the vote
2. Thiago Alcántara, Liverpool 2-0 Porto (Matchday 5) – 14%
3. Robert Lewandowski, Dynamo Kyiv 1-2 Bayern (Matchday 5) – 13%
4. Alex Telles, Manchester United 2-1 Villarreal (Matchday 2) – 12%
5. Vinícius Júnior, Shakhtar 0-5 Real Madrid (Matchday 3) – 10%
6. Marco Asensio, Real Madrid 2-0 Inter (Matchday 5) – 10%
7. Sébastien Thill, Real Madrid 1-2 Sheriff (Matchday 2) – 8%
8. Mason Greenwood, Manchester United 1-1 Young Boys (Matchday 6) – 7%
9. Adama Traore, Sheriff 2-0 Shakhtar (Matchday 1) – 3%
10. Lukas Nmecha, Wolfsburg 2-1 Salzburg (Matchday 4) – 1%
The wonder of Messi
It's no wonder that so many people happen to pick Messi over Ronaldo not because of statistics, records or trophies, but simply due to the manner in which he plays the beautiful game.
And it's that quick-thinking intuition and reflexive gut instincts that makes Messi one of football's primary problem solvers with some of his skills and tricks proving remarkably unique and novel.
we've all seen him score goals where he's dribbled past half the opposition team, but some of the finest Messi moments are those inconsequential flashes of his genius and originality.
Sure, flicking the ball over a defender when it looked impossible might not lead to a goal, but spending the proceeding four hours spamming the replay button means it's still pretty darn special.
And if what we've described there is your cup of tea when it comes to enjoying Messi, then you're in a luck, because a video from YouTuber 'MagicalMessi' showcases many of those stunning skills.
The montage aptly titled: "Even Messi Fans Can't Believe How Smart These Skills Are," has attracted more than one million views in six days for his brilliant stitching together of Messi magic.
From beating players without even touching the ball to making the offside trap look irrelevant, Messi has tried every trick in the book to get the better of his opponents - and he almost always succeeds.
So, kick back and get your fix of footballing majesty by checking some of Messi's most unique and jaw-dropping skills in the fantastic compilation. Messi really is a freak of nature, isn't he?
Strokes of genius
Whether it's the alleged 'injury trick' or folding defenders like a deckchair, Messi has produced countless flashes of genius to ensure that content creators can create extensive montages of them.
Besides, no doubt Messi will churn out more than a few flicks and tricks that are worthy of a sequel when he truly settles into life at Paris Saint-Germain this season.
However, even in a world where Messi was to hang up his boots tomorrow, you can rest assured that he's delivered so much footballing beauty for at least one hundred videos on his brilliance.
Lionel Messi: Montage of PSG star's skills
Lionel Messi might just be the most technically gifted footballer that the sport has ever seen.
No matter where you fall on the inevitable Cristiano Ronaldo debate or wider GOAT conversation, there can simply be no disputing that Messi is up there with the most talented players in history.
There is just an innate magic in the way that he slaloms past players with his superglue dribbling, slight-of-hand body feints and beautifully caressed shots that leave goalkeepers baffled.