Lionel Messi Debuts Dorky New Look in First Game Back, Still Dominates Mallorca

The Barcelona star returned to action with two assists and a goal in the club's first game back

Messi Mallorca
Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona looks on during La Liga match between RCD Mallorca and FC Barcelona on June 13, 2020.
David Ramos/Getty Images

Spain’s first division soccer league, La Liga, returned to action this week, and that meant that Barcelona and Lionel Messi would be back in action for the first time in three months. The club’s first game back saw them travel to the island of Mallorca, and Messi picked back up where he left off before the pandemic break, only with a new, dorkier look:

Truth be told, it’s never embarrassing to get dominated by Messi, one of the greatest, if not the greatest, soccer players to ever play the game, but there must be a hint of shame from the Mallorca players over giving up two assists and a goal to a guy who looks like a substitute teacher. The lack of a beard is more of a personal preference — some like clean-shaven Messi, while others prefer the full-bearded GOAT — but the longer hair is far too reminiscent of his younger, less fashionable days to be a good choice.

Regardless, Messi’s first assist on the day did utilize that new head of hair, as he flicked the ball with his head into the path of Martin Braithwaite, giving the Dane his first Barcelona goal since joining the team in February. An assist to his usual partner-in-goals Jordi Alba followed, before Messi himself grabbed a last-minute goal with his weaker right foot to make the final score 4-0 for the league-leading Catalan side.

Whether you love or hate the new Messi look, over 90 minutes on Saturday, he showed that his style choices do not affect the one truth in soccer: when Barcelona plays, Messi is the best player on the field. He proved that again with a casual exhibition of dominance, and with Barcelona just four points ahead of its eternal rivals Real Madrid in La Liga, he will need to continue doing that the rest of the way.

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