Welcome to World Class: Lionel Messi
The “world class” argument can be hard to accept when discussing it with your friends.
Everyone has different aspects of football that they enjoy more than others. You can bicker, bicker, and fight, taking turns pointing out each player’s abilities and pitfalls, but rarely end up being convinced.
However, there is a select group of players who do not need any support. You don’t need to discuss their brilliance, you don’t need to point out their qualities, just say their name and nod your head. This is the case with Lionel Messi, because of course it is.
“He is the best player I have ever seen. The best thing about him is not what he does, but the simplicity with which he makes everything appear. He’s not just the best player because he can dribble past three or four players, it’s because he does it better than anyone in the world. “
– Pep guardiola
The little magician recently broke Pelé’s longtime record by scoring his 644th goal for just one club – although the Brazilian of course disputes this fact due to goals scored against his nephew in the back garden – with 160 goalkeepers sent a bottle of beer for each goal conceded. against the talisman of Barcelona.
And yet, while the pain of conceding a goal will never be easier for a goalie, all over the world they have taken to social media to show off what they might even call a badge of honor; almost proud to have even had the opportunity to play on the same pitch as the greatest player of the modern era.
Growing up in Argentina, Messi was diagnosed with growth hormone deficiency at the age of 11, and while River Plate pursued the talented youngster, they refused to pay for the treatment he would need.
Barcelona saw their chance and invited Messi to his famous La Masia academy for a trial, ultimately offering him a deal that included payment for his salary. Barca have helped Messi make his dreams come true, so he can help them make theirs come true.
“I made sacrifices leaving Argentina, leaving my family to start a new life,” Messi later said of his move to Europe. “I changed my friends, my people. All. But everything I did, I did for football, to make my dream come true.
And the rest, as they say, is history. The Argentina international has won ten La Liga titles, six Copa del Rey crowns and perhaps the most impressive four Champions League crowns in his senior career to date.
While team triumphs have of course been the backbone of Messi’s achievements in Catalonia, personal accolades have never been far behind. He won the Ballon d’Or six times, and did so four years on the rebound from 2009-2012.
His ability to produce breathtaking moments of magic is probably one of the things Messi will be most fondly remembered once his playing days are over, although it is his consistent brilliance that sets him apart from most.
Over the past 12 seasons, the Barcelona captain has never failed to score under 30 goals in all competitions, and there has been a ten-campaign streak where he has scored over 40 per season.
Breaking goal records has almost become commonplace throughout the 33-year-old’s illustrious career, but his 2011/12 campaign has even exceeded his astronomical expectations. Messi has scored 73 goals in all competitions for Barcelona, surpassing Gerd Muller’s record of 67 goals in European season, while also breaking the record of 85 goals for prolific Germany in a calendar year after scoring 91 goals in 2012.
And in the end alone, Messi claims an amazing 24 goals for Barcelona, and that doesn’t include his pivotal strikes at other times in the respective competitions. Man is a machine with implacable goals, absolutely irrepressible.
“I was a big fan of Maradona growing up and the current crop Ronaldo is good, but Messi is the best I have ever seen. I don’t praise lightly, but Messi deserves it. I look for weaknesses in his game and I can’t find them. “
– Roy Keane
To this day, Messi continues to produce staggering numbers, even in the twilight of his career. The question now hanging over him is where he will see his final years as a professional, with his Barcelona contract six months away and Messi looks more likely than ever to take on a new challenge.
Whatever decision he makes in 2021, you can’t deny that we’ve been in the presence of greatness since its breakthrough. You can’t say Lionel Messi’s name without thinking World class. It’s impossible.