The Argentine set up the defender during his side’s win over PSV, but the star said his free-kick was an accident.
A delighted Lionel Messi admitted his free-kick to set up Gerard Pique during Barcelona’s win over PSV was an accident .
After scoring a brilliant opener Messi mishit a set-piece that was poked in by Pique in the second half of Barca’s 2-1 victory in the Champions League on Wednesday.
The goal pulled Pique closer to the record as the top scoring defender in Champions League history with his 13th strike, trailing only Ivan Helguera (15) and Roberto Carlos (16) and proved to be the winner on the night.
While some gave the superstar credit for the assist, the 31-year-old said it was not intended.
“The free-kick didn’t come off but Gerard was in the area and he saw it and fortunately it went in but it was not something we had planned,” Messi said, via the club’s website.
Luuk de Jong pulled a goal back late on for PSV, who racked up 23 shots and hit the woodwork three times, but Barca saw out victory to seal top spot in Group B.
He said: “I am delighted, I have just found out now. I am happy for this new stat.”
Messi was also thrilled to see his side clinch top spot in a group that includes Inter and Tottenham.
“We have achieved our objective of finishing top of a difficult group,” he said.
“We are really happy, it has been a tight group with tough away trips.”
Messi and Barcelona can now turn their attentions back to La Liga, where they trail Sevilla by a single point through 13 matches.
They will face off against Villarreal on Sunday as they look to take back top spot in the league.
There will also be plenty on the line for the club’s final game of the group play in the league, though it will be for opponents Tottenham rather than for the Blaugrana.
Spurs will need to match or better Inter’s result against PSV in their clash with the Spanish giants to progress to the round of 16.