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What is Olimpico or Olympic Goal? Did Messi Score Olimpico?

Lionel Messi

The elusive ‘Olympic goal’ in football continues to captivate fans and players alike.

‘Gol Olimpico’ (Spanish for ‘Olympic goal’)

An Olympic goal, also known as an “Olimpico” goal, is a remarkable feat in football. It occurs when a player scores directly from a corner kick, sending the ball into the net without anyone else touching it. These goals are rare and hold a special place in the hearts of fans who witness them.

While scoring from a corner kick is commonplace, finding the net directly from the corner itself is a remarkable occurrence, happening far less frequently.

Why is it called an Olimpico goal?

As you can probably guess from the name, the term Olympic goal has a direct relationship with the Olympic Games.

To trace its origins, one must journey back to Paris in 1924, the setting of the last Olympics held in the French capital. During these Games, which also served as a World Cup, Uruguay clinched the Olympic title in the men’s football tournament.

Just a month after their triumph, they faced off against Argentina in a pair of friendly matches. It was during the second encounter, played in Buenos Aires, that football history was altered.

In the 15th minute, Argentina’s Cesáreo Onzari delivered a corner kick that sailed directly into the Uruguayan goal, untouched by anyone else. This moment marked the first instance of such a goal in recorded history.

At the time, the goal was named ‘Onzari’s goal against the Olympians’, but eventually, this name was shortened to just ‘Olympic goal’ or ‘Olimpico’.

first Olimpico
On October 2, 1924, Argentine player Cesáreo Onzari scored the first “Olympic goal” in football history, directly from a corner kick on the Sportivo Barracas field during a friendly match against Uruguay.

Does Messi have an Olimpico goal?

Olimpico is something Messi has not yet achieved during his career. But the 36-year-old almost recorded his first Olimpico goal for Inter Miami after shooting from a corner kick in an exhibition game against FC Dellas on January 23, 2024.

Just moments after Ferreira secured the sole goal of the match, Inter earned a corner kick from the right flank. Messi stepped up to take the kick, harboring a clever scheme. He meticulously observed Dutch goalkeeper Maarten Paes’ positioning, plotting to outsmart him.

The precision of Messi’s curling kick seemed destined for the net, but Paes exhibited remarkable reflexes, diving to thwart the shot.

Despite his illustrious career, Messi had never before successfully scored directly from a corner kick.

While MLS’ broadcast captured the inventive effort, a fan’s perspective highlighted the astonishing proximity of Messi’s shot to finding the back of the net:

Noteworthy figures like David Beckham and Thierry Henry have previously achieved this feat while playing for MLS teams.

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Written by:

Harry Bikul
Postgraduated from Jahangirnagar University. Loves blogging and reading other people's writing. Spends leisure time watching good movies. Wants to travel around the world.

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