- Lionel Messi was crucial for Barcelona as the Blaugrana defeated Napoli to reach the quarterfinal of the Champions League
- The Argentine scored a goal and had another ruled out in the 3-1 victory over the Italians
- Messi refused the referee’s handshake as he visibly protested the denied goal
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Lionel Messi had a spectacular performance in Barcelona’s 3-1 Champions League win over Napoli scoring a brilliant goal and then having another ruled out by centre referee Cuneyt Cakir.
The Argentine striker was furious at the decision deny him the goal as Cakir ruled it out citing handball by the player and Messi responded after the game after ignoring his handshake.
La Blaugrana made it through to the quarter finals with a 5-2 aggregate score-line and will face one of the favourites Bayern Munich next.
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It was Napoli that made the first attempt but their strike hit the bar early on, and the hosts went ahead to take the lead in the 10th minute courtesy of a fine header from Clement Lenglet.
And 13 minutes later, their talisman Lionel Messi struck the second goal of the game in outrageous fashion.
The Argentine found the net once again in another frightening wave of Barcelona attacks but his goal was ruled out as Messi was found to have handled the ball in the build-up to the goal.
Messi was once again involved in Barca’s third goal after forcing an error from defender Kalidou Koulibaly in the box to earn a penalty which was eventually converted by Luis Suarez.
The multiple Ballon d’Or winner was visibly unhappy with Cakir and made his feelings clear during the post-match hand shakes and fist bumps.
A video of the altercation at full-time circulated and clearly showed Messi venting his frustration at the referee.
In the video circulating, Cakir could be seen holding out his fist towards Messi but the Argentine could be seen wagging his finger and shouting 'NO' at the official before walking in the other direction.
Cakir is the same referee who Nigerians turned against after he denied the Super Eagles a penalty against Argentina at the last World Cup.
Legit.ng earlier reported that Lionel Messi has emerged the European Player of the season for the ninth time in 11 seasons as statistics website WhoScored ranked the Barcelona star above other players.
Although the Catalan giants struggled during the just concluded league season, that does not stop Messi who scored goals for fun and also going on to make record assist.
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