Lionel Messi’s first three goals of 2017 have all been free-kick beauties

As Goldfinger says, “Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, the third time it’s enemy action.” For Lionel Messi, it’s just becoming a new habit. In his first three games of 2017, the Barcelona superstar has three goals. That’s not earth-shattering in and of itself, but it’s pretty outrageous that all three goals have come via direct free kick.

For Lionel Messi, it’s just becoming a new habit. In his first three games of 2017, the Barcelona superstar has three goals. That’s not earth-shattering in and of itself, but it’s pretty outrageous that all three goals have come via direct free kick.

Like snowflakes, finger prints and breakups, no two free kicks are the same, however. Messi drilled three of them in the past week, but each was unique. Here they are, in order or earliest to most recent:

Athletic Bilbao felt the wrath of Messi’s left foot twice, with his free kicks covering the expanse of the net from the upper-left corner to the lower-right. Villarreal, sandwiched in between the Copa del Rey ties, also fell victim to La Pulga. Enemy action, indeed.

Who’s next on the docket for Barcelona? They host Las Palmas in a La Liga tilt on Saturday, and Los Amarillos would be wise to not give up a cheap foul anywhere near their own box. Otherwise, Messi looms.