Lionel Messi: The Living Legend

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Messi is the best player in the world…People who says opposite, either they don’t know football or they don’t know what they’re talking about.  –  Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden, Paris Saint-Germain F.C.)

When you think of the greats in sports, names like Kareem, Jordan, Sanders, Kobe, Montana, Staubach, LeBron, Gretzky, Woods, and Robinson come to mind.

However, the world of international football has seen great players come through and change the face of the sport forever. Their presence on the field has moved stadiums and changed the lives of spectators from around the world. Footballers like Pelé, Maradona, Cafu, Müller, Ronaldinho, Rooney, Cannavaro, Del Piero have all brought pride and glory to the game.

We live in the time of greats, and our generation is no different. There walks a 5’7″ giant on the pitch. Draped in the Blaugrana colors, and bringing pride to all who feel the strength of the Argentinean albiceleste, Lionel Messi has become synonymous with greatness.

Lionel Messi and the Art of Living: 9781785314506: West, Andy: Books -  Amazon.com

Born in the poverty stricken village of Rosario, Argentina, Messi was raised in humble conditions on June 24, 1987. At a very young age, his small stature seemed irrelevant when given a ball, as his pace quickly gave him the natural ability to score. However, his lack of growth soon came to reveal his hormone deficiency, an expensive treatment that could not be paid by Newell’s Old Boys (the local youth club). Facing an overwhelming obstacle, he would soon find his answer in a proposition from a scout seeking talent for Spanish club, FC Barcelona. His talent was all too unique and would soon find a home in La Masia, or The Farmhouse, Barcelona’s youth academy. His health issues would be cared for in one of the most prestigious clubs in European football.

Messi’s debut for the first team would be one of deserving fashion, a beautiful chip over the goalkeeper after being fed a wondrous pass from Ronaldinho, the king of football in his time. Soon, there were many comparisons in skills and abilities to longtime legend Diego Maradona. The height, the pace, the ball control. It was all there.

Maradona created what has come to be known as the Goal of the Century, dribbling past five players to score one of the greatest goals in history against England in the 1986 FIFA World Cup. Messi’s goal against Getafe FC in the semi-final of the Copa Del Rey was all too similar. The ball seems to stick like velcro to his boot, his touch on the ball is perfection, and there is no doubt of his attacking postion. His intelligence on the field is unmatched.

For many, actions are not enough and a player is usually defined by the amount of silverware they are able to bring home. Even in this category, Messi does not lack.

  • The only player in history to earn four consecutive FIFA Ballon d’Or awards for Best Player of the Year (2009,10,11,12)
  • 6 La Liga Titles
  • 2 Copa Del Rey
  • 5 Spanish Supercups
  • 3 UEFA Champions League Finals
  • 2 UEFA Super Cups
  • 2 FIFA Club World Cups
  • Messi Summary PDF | Luca Caioli

And the records keep on breaking. In 2012, Messi defied goal scoring odds in a calendar year. Surpassing Pelé’s milestone of 75 goals (1958) and making history by breaking Gerd Müller’s record of 85 goals (1972). Football had a new goal king and has established his 91 goals in a calendar year as the new milestone.

Aside from his achievements, his sense of being is what makes him such an iconic player. Never playing the referee, unselfish, always displaying sportsmanship, carrying a great humility, Messi seems to be just a normal guy with an extraordinary gift. In a way, he doesn’t like to share much about his private life, always attempting to stay out of the limelight if it isn’t on the pitch. However, he becomes a vicious lion on the field. He’s aggressive, strong-willed, and dominates all parts of the game. An exemplary person, and an envied player.

Keep all of this in mind. Most football players begin to unravel their full potential at the age of 25, finding the end of their career in their mid-30’s.

Lionel Messi will turn 26 in June.

Most people might suggest that he won’t be a great player until he has won what Maradona has earned with Argentina, a World Cup.

However, considering he has won everything a footballer aspires to win, a World Cup would cement his position in history as the greatest player to ever play the sport. There is nothing he can’t do.

What can we expect from the greatest event in international football coming up in 2014, hosted by the grand country of Brazil?

Expect a new Messi, primed to perfection by Barcelona, unleashed upon opposition by Argentina.

What Messi continues to do is change the face of the sport forever. When you watch players like Kobe Bryant and LeBron James attack the rim, use their strength and finesse to score unbelievable plays, you become witness to greatness. The residents of Barcelona and the rest of the world become witness to greatness on a regular basis. It has almost become a routine to watch Messi dribble around three defenders, and score with either feet from unimaginable angles.

As with any other great athlete, whether you love or hate them, respect is due where it is deserved.

Lionel Messi is no different.

Lionel Messi's Biography, Daily Routine, Lifestyle, Hobbies, Net Worth,  Career, Personal Life, and More | by SuccessMatters4me | Medium

He has become and currently reigns as the greatest football player in the world.

Perhaps, the greatest football player to ever play the sport.

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