Lionel Messi, the magician, the talisman, the artist and etc; you can just go on and on and on, describing this wonderful little genius from Argentina. I am not a football expert to describe the technical aspects of this little man, but I am follower of Club football for little more than a decade. So I feel I can reasonably talk about a player, on watching him play. On watching Messi, I gotta feel that I have never seen a footballer, who not only can score a goal at ease but also can perform magic with his foot in the ground.
My first memory of watching Messi was in a UEFA cup match against Chelsea in 2005. There was something, peculiar about this guy, which made me watch this guy with a little more interest. Though, Ronaldinho was the key player in the ranks of FCB, this guy had something special to watch for. The sheer pace of his run with an extraordinary ball control, took me by surprise. Ronaldinho was my hero as well as FCB’s then, but this guy gained equal respect, from his opponents, which proved beyond doubt the fact that this guy is one to watch out for in coming years. And it turned out to be so true.
This guy’s raise to fame in a period of 3-4 years is amazing. This obviously would have involved countless hours of practice, training and work out. But above all these, this guy has few innate talents, which make him play the football in a way that few can fathom.
His dribbling, his maneuvers, the breath-taking passes and the clinical finishes make him look really taller than he actually is. The little figure means more balance, which I heard from the experts is more important in the game of football, makes him much more threatening.
What is more intriguing about him is that the way he raises his game for the big matches. There are many contemporary footballers, who are considered to be the competitor for this little genius. But the above mentioned trait of raising the game to a superior level, which is definitely out of this world, separates him from his contemporaries. There are numerous occasions where he provided a decisive pass to his team-mate or scored an outstanding goal that changed the fate of the matches in a blink of an eye.
He is always a step or 2 ahead of his counterparts, at times even a planet ahead. The statistics prove the same. No player can score so consistently like him season after season after season. Not only he scores, but he also teams up with his team mates and produces some stunning football. The way he plays is definitely eye-catching and even makes an ordinary footballer to raise his standards. This is “The Quality” that makes great footballers even greater; the quality of inspiring fellow beings to play above their potential.
This season has been a prolific one for him. He scored more than 40 goals in all competitions including 3 hat tricks, 2 of which were in back to back games, and a 4 goal fiesta in the Champion’s League quarter finals against a team, which is fighting for the title race in English Premier League. This is apart from the sizeable passes, he provided for his team mates, which were converted to goals. He can be a real pain in the a** for his opponents.
Give him a little space, he can maneuver through it in a flash and produce an extra ordinary goal. His one of the goal against Zaragoza can be given as example. Cramp him with 3 to 4 defenders; he comes out with a pass that none can even think of. The sight of football dancing to his tunes is worth millions.
But there are some complaints against this little genius. When you are good at something, people will always find ways to spot some irregularity or lack of a particular achievement. It might be true in some cases and baseless in most of the cases. They say that he doesn’t reproduce the form, he displays at club football, when he plays for his country. This may not be true.
The above said complaint against him can be due to various reasons. He played his first world cup at the age of 18. He did not get enough opportunities to showcase his skills, and also it was that the beginning of the transformation from being a child prodigy to a pro footballer. Also at the club level, he has excellent play makers such as Xavi, who is such a big X- factor for the club and Dani Alves, who play well in tandem with this little genius.
He might be missing these comforts at the international level. Football is not a one man show. You need 10 players to play well in tandem for a team to be successful. Messi gets the comfort of good players by his side in Barca, where as while playing for Argentina he is missing them. May be this world cup will give us a chance to witness the Magician exhibiting his tricks in his Nation’s colours.
Maradona, with whom Messi is often being compared, single-handedly won the World Cup for Argentina before helping a low rung Napoli Side to win the Scudetto. This touch of brilliance from the “El Diego” keeps him a little ahead of Messi- The Messiah. But Messi, as said earlier, is only 22 and he has years of football left in him before he surpasses his Idol’s records.
I am concluding this article on the very day when Messi has equaled Ronaldo’s record of 34 goals in La Liga and won the coveted Pichcihi Award. This article is a tribute to my player of the Year “ Messi”