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It looks so damn easy to stop, this latest entry into Lionel Messi’s lightyear-long highlight reel. The free kick from just outside the box hangs in the air for an eternity, seemingly giving the goalie, or a defender, or a fan sitting at the top of the upper deck ample time to track the ball, move towards it, and keep it out of the net.

But Messi’s first of two goals in a 2-0 Barcelona win over Espanyol today becomes a lot easier to comprehend once you realize that it looks so incredible because the GOAT simply slowed down time, using his godlike abilities to ensure we all appreciate the ball’s baffling arc in all its glory. See for yourself and try to come up with any other logical explanation:


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