Messi(a fan’s view)

Posted: February 3, 2011 in Articles, Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , ,

On Barcelona’s recent match against Hercules I noticed a piece of commentary the read like this, “On the outstanding turn of event, Messi has a poor first touch, and the Hercules defender clears the ball easily. Don’t dream of reading these lines too often.” With every match this little Argentine plays we are running out of superlatives. Extraordinary, Awesome, Magical, Maradona-like etc are way too low to describe him. Like Arsene Winger said after Arsenel’s 4-1 loss to Barcelona(or Messi who scored all four goals) in last years Champions league clash, “He is like a Play-station who can take opportunity of every mistake you make.” Saying this I am not going to enter in the discussion of who is the greatest footballer of all time, I am way ‘too’ naïve to do that and I won’t dare to. But there is no arguing that he is the best contemporary player in world now, I know for Christiano-fans I can’t manage appetizer.

Never the Goal-scoring was so easy since this little Argentine maestro has started playing. Probably the legendary Hungarian Ferenc Pusḱas who scored 84 goals in 85 matches was the best International striker. But the way he has performed in the last three years in particular(122 goals and 47 assists in 136 club games and 7 international goals to go with) he has left any competitors miles behind. In this season only he has 37 goals and 18 assists in, Yes, just 32 games(!). Numbers speaks more than words do, doesn’t day. And if last years 60 goals doesn’t satisfy you why he won the FIFA world player of the year ’10, probably the stats did.

A quick, incisive, balanced, a stylish runner his dribbling skills are second to none. Haven’t seen how Maradona played but often people calls Messi his heir, Maradona too once famously said, “Messi is my Maradona”. Probably the line has more to do with Maradona’s ego than Messi’s skill. He doesn’t have a great pace as Ronaldo has, but no-one in the world will run with the same speed with or with-out ball as

Messi does. His close control while dribbling creates those magic moments in every-time he gets the ball. He doesn’t have power as Ronaldo has, but his ‘cunning’ eyes lets him even the slightest of angles that never existed in the goal post. Who is greater player “Roger Federer” or “Andy Roddeik”? He is not perfect though, with the lack of pace and speed his short frame doesn’t allow him to head too often(vs Manchester United, 2009 champions league finals, that header, anyone?) . He has a ‘poor’ right leg and too often he has been deemed Selfish(btw he has 18 assists in 32 matches this season more than even of Xavi). And probably to be one of the ‘Greats’ he sure has to replicate his club form in Blue and white. With the club performance he can only be ‘Alfred de stephano’ but he can be ‘Pele’ or ‘Marodana’ or ‘Johan Cruyff’ if he do the same magic in Argentine colour as he does always in Camp’Nou for Barcelona.

Messi has already established himself as one of the greatest player of the time I can remember if not all time. When he plays, I am not saying on his day because can you remember his off day in Barcelona colour? I remember two, the first leg of semifinals of Champions league in 2009 against Chelsea and in 2010 against Inter-Milan. Based on these two games so often the people say he will struggle in the English Premier league(Stoke City Any one) or Italian Serie A.Sure, Messi does get overpowered at times and is definitely not a physical presence. But he makes up for this with pure skill. Messi has all the qualities of a great player to succeed: he is fast(or with the ball no one is faster than him), a fighting spirit, a brilliant finisher and can set up goals for teammates(again 18 assists in 32 games, more than double to that of Ronaldo this Season and also more than that of Xavi’s). He is a fantastic dribbler(Maradona,who?) who can weave past any defense. Despite his small stature and build he can fight it out with any defense.

More than all these qualities, he is humble. He sure will never be another Ronaldinho who showed greatness but faded too soon. On this regard Credit must be given to Pep Guardiola for making a person who earns in excess of $50 million a year in the earth. He has all the recipe of success in Barcelona. The teammates probably not as talented as him(who is?) but they are greats themselves. Xavi, Iniesta, Puyol, Villa and Henery till last season are all legends. Probably, being the forward of the team with midfield masteros Xavi and Iniesta might have made him greater. This is why we are yet to reach a conclusion that he is greatest player of all time. Yes he is not yet. For being on par with Pele or Maradona he has to shine in Blue and white shirts too.

Now there is a question. What if he didn’t have deformed leg and growth hormone related problem. What if he was not taken to spain? What if Barcelona didn’t accept to treat him? What if he wasn’t a part if ‘la massia’? We obviously had not been able to see the ‘magic of two feet and a ball’ with such grace and perfection.

Thank you Lionel Anders Messi for being part of our generation.

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