He might be the world’s greatest player, but Lionel Messi isn’t often recognized for his power.
His low center of gravity and balance while running at pace make him nearly impossible to knock off the ball, however, and he’s won plenty of physical challenges against much bigger players. But he can also call on a deceptively formidable shot, especially on his left foot. With very little back lift, he can generate plenty of power.
An unlucky fan discovered how much force the Argentine has at his disposal at a match yesterday between Villareal and Barcelona. Messi cut inside off the right wing toward the top of the box and unleashed an explosive left-foot effort that flew over the crossbar and kept rising.
A female fan stuck up an arm to protect herself, and the ball struck with enough force to break it. Video after shows her in noticeable pain, and she seems to go into a kind of shock while trying to leave her seat to get medical attention.
It’s an issue more commonly associated with baseball or hockey, but be warned: Catching a soccer game from the stands can also be dangerous.