He’s the little man with the enormous reputation. We all know what he can do. I don’t really need to write any more, but I’ll see if I can do him some justice.
Born twenty-four years ago in a place known as Rosario, Argentina, Lionel Messi has always possessed an obvious talent when on the football pitch. However, one thing did seem likely to hinder his progress. At the age of eleven, Messi was diagnosed with a growth hormone deficiency, while playing for his local club, Newell’s Old Boys. Argentinean powerhouse, River Plate, showed an interest while he was with Newell’s, but couldn’t afford to pay for his $900 a month medical treatment.
Barcelona’s sporting director, Carles Rexach, had heard of Messi’s unnatural talent for kicking a ball and decided that, if he could get to Spain, they would give him a trial. With no other paper at hand, Rexach offered him a contract on a paper napkin, with Barcelona paying his medical bills. I doubt he’s looked back since.
Messi is, in my opinion, the best football player of all time. Born in a post-Maradonna era, having watched clips of Diego in his glory days, I have to go for Messi as his successor, something that Maradonna has dubbed Messi himself. His talent is unbelievable at times. Actually, I’m almost positive that they have to turn him off and store him in a cupboard after matches. His ability to out-think, out-play, and out-class every single opponent he has ever taken on is remarkable. His closest competition, Cristiano Ronaldo, is miles ahead of the rest of the footballing pack, but Lionel Messi takes it comfortably for me. He’s the best. Anything Ronaldo can do, Messi can go one better. As we saw with his freekick against Athletico Madrid, after Ronaldo’s outrageous back heel goal.
Someone that can play every minute of every game with the same amount of energy left at the end of the match as at the start is beyond human. He possesses a raw and dangerous enthusiasm never seen before. Not only is he the best thing to happen to modern football, but it is the best thing to have happened to him. You can see how much he loves the game, that’s something that money can’t buy. And that for me is why he will never leave F.C. Barcelona. They play football a way that no one else does, a way that suits the little Argentine and a way that no one else can compete with.
The only thing that some people say is hindering Messi’s opportunity to be seen as the greatest ever, better than Diego Maradonna, has been his inability to perform on the national stage. We all know about Maradonna single-handedly guiding Argentina to the World Cup and this is something that his successor has not yet been able to accomplish. At club level he has, literally, won it all. But with his compatriots he just doesn’t seem to be able to show the same heart and desire to carry them to a much overdue trophy. And until he does, can we really class him as the best ever?
I believe so. He attacks, tracks back, passes, scores from anywhere, and when the critical world was picking up on his inability to head the ball, he heads the winning goal in the Champions League Final.
And at still only twenty-four years of age, he can only progress and get better. Pep Guardiola has been able to get the best out of all of his players, even the ones that were only on the brinks of the reserve team under previous coaches, and this can only be a good thing for Messi. As young, talented players continue to come through the youth ranks, Guardiola promotes reserve players to the first team and turns them into class players, things at the Catalan club are only going to go in the right direction, and for Lionel Messi things look the same. Having a player with his skill-set at a club can only aid and motivate the rest of the players and Barcelona, the force to be reckoned with that we see already, are turning into a club that cannot fail to produce on the football pitch. Every match we see something magical coming from Messi and we are starting to see some of the flair and trickery rub off onto the rest of the team. In a few years time, who knows, we could maybe even see a team of potential Messi’s.
With the best years of career still ahead of him, we couldn’t possibly see an improvement on what we have already, could we? Its frightening to think of what has still to come from one of the games greatest, but I, and many other football lovers, cannot wait to see it.