Lionel Messi steals goalkeeper's soul with inch-perfect free kick in his direction (video)

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<a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/soccer/players/372884/" data-ylk="slk:Lionel Messi">Lionel Messi</a> will score on you however he pleases, thank you very much. (Getty)
Lionel Messi will score on you however he pleases, thank you very much. (Getty)

We’ve run out of ways to describe Lionel Messi’s brilliance, but every now and then he extends a helping hand to give us more.

In the 18th minute of Sunday’s La Liga match at Real Betis, Lionel Messi hit a free kick so pure there wasn’t a single thing goalkeeper Pau López could do about it (via BeIN Sport):

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Watch that again. López shades toward Messi’s right in an attempt to entice him to shoot that way. With enough whip on the ball and Barcelona teammate Ivan Rakitic clearing some space in the wall, Messi could have done just that.

Instead, Messi decided to fire his free kick straight in López’s upper corner. You don’t tell Messi where to shoot. Messi tells Messi where to shoot.

And Messi scores, as he did on the set piece and again shortly before halftime, taking a no-look Luis Suarez pass and finishing first time:

Good lord.

Messi added a third in the 85th minute and Barcelona beat Real Betis 4-1. With Atletico Madrid losing on Saturday, Barca’s lead atop La Liga is now 10 points with 10 to play.

Joey Gulino is the editor of Yahoo Soccer and moonlights as a writer. Follow him on Twitter at @JGulinoYahoo.

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