They aren’t bad, they were just unlucky to be born in the same era as Lionel Messi 🇦🇷

Living in the Shadow of Greatness: The Messi Effect on Football’s Forwards

Lionel Messi’s reign as a footballing phenomenon has cast a long shadow over other talented attackers. While not lacking in skill, some exceptional players haven’t quite reached the same stratospheric heights, leading to the quip: “They weren’t bad, just unlucky to be born in the same era as Messi.”

Argentinian football legend Lionel Messi receives Ballon d'Or title for  eighth time | Mint

Take Robert Lewandowski, for example. A prolific goalscorer, he’s shattered records in the Bundesliga but never claimed the Ballon d’Or with Messi consistently in the running, even winning a record-breaking seven times.

This isn’t to diminish Messi’s achievements. His dribbling, passing, and goalscoring prowess are otherworldly. However, it does raise an interesting discussion. Are some players unfairly judged against Messi’s unparalleled standards?

Absolutely world-class forwards like Luis Suarez and Neymar thrived playing alongside Messi, their talents complementing his. Yet, outside his shadow, their individual Ballon d’Or pursuits haven’t quite materialized.

Messi vs Ronaldo - who is ahead in the race for Ballon d'Or? | Sporting  News Canada

The Messi effect isn’t limited to attackers. Players like Kevin De Bruyne, a midfield maestro, haven’t received the same level of individual recognition despite their undeniable influence on the game.

The reality is, greatness comes in different forms. While Messi redefined the role of a forward, others excel in different areas. Lewandowski’s clinical finishing, De Bruyne’s vision, and Suarez’s tenacity are all invaluable attributes.

Cristiano Ronaldo: Ballon d'Or talk made me nervous for weeks | Sporting  News

Appreciating the unique brilliance of each player, rather than solely focusing on individual awards, creates a richer appreciation for the beautiful game. So next time you hear “unlucky to be born in the Messi era,” remember, these players are phenomenal talents who have carved their own path to greatness, even if it exists alongside a living legend.

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