Messi misery costs punter a cool million
The nearest thing to a certainty in football is a Lionel Messi goal, but the one time he failed to deliver on the biggest stage cost a Wiltshire punter a shock £1 million payout.
The diminutive Argentine is the world’s greatest current footballer and is increasingly entering the conversation about the greatest of all time.
Last year he scored a record 91 goals and had already notched five in this season’s Champions League.
But when bed-maker Simon Pike, 20, desperately needed a goal or two from the Barcelona maestro on Wednesday night he drew a rare blank.
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The Trowbridge football fan missed out on winning £1million after he was let down by one result in the last 16 of the Champions League – Barcelona’s surprisingly getting beaten by AC Milan.
Simon had entered a competition to become a millionaire by predicting the correct scores of all the first legs of the Champions League last 16 matches.
Simon got seven out of the eight match scores exactly right and was the only entrant left in the nationwide contest by the last round of games on Wednesday night.
But he was pipped to the post after his prediction for Barcelona to beat AC Milan 2-0 was wrong – with the Spanish giants instead losing 2-0.
Because he was so close organisers Coral have given him an all-expenses paid trip to Barcelona to watch the return leg at the Nou Camp.
Chelsea fan Simon said: “I was really gutted about the £1million, but I was trying not to get over excited as nothing was ever guaranteed.
“I’ve only ever been to watch Swindon Town so I’m so excited to be going out to Spain for the second leg at a massive stadium.”
Coral spokesman Joanne Deighton said: “To have seven of the eight scores correct is so good and Barcelona would have been the odds-on choice out of the majority of them.”
Despite their two goal handicap bookmakers are not offering generous odds on Barcelona overcoming the deficit.
Last night they were chalked up at only 11/10 to progress to the quarter-finals when the two giants square-off on March 12.