Messi celebrated his powerful strike from outside the box by taking off Barcelona’s shirt to reveal the red-and-black of Maradona’s shirt from his stint at Newell’s Old Boys.
Messi then blew a kiss with both hands to the sky as he looked upward.
“It was a great moment,” said Barca manager Ronald Koeman. “First, for the goal that Leo scored and then for the gesture he had for the death of Diego Maradona.
“He had surely been thinking of what he would do. For me, it was a great moment in every way.”
Messi played for Newell’s before he joined Barcelona at age 13. Maradona played five matches for Newell’s in 1994 near the end of his glorious playing career that made him a legend in his home country.
Messi had kept his head bowed during the minute of silence before kickoff in the Spanish league game at the empty Camp Nou for Maradona, who died of a heart attack on Wednesday at age 60. Maradona played for Barcelona from 1982-84.
“We have lost Diego, a world idol,” Barcelona’s Brazil forward Philippe Coutinho said. “Everyone admired him and we will all miss him. (Messi’s) tribute was beautiful.”
Additional reporting by AP.