“Scoring records is not my goal” – Lionel Messi
And yet, for a person who is not really looking to break records, Leo Messi does go about it a bit like Atilla the Hun let loose in a porcelain shop. As records tumble and fall to the ground with a resounding crash left, right and center, it is easy to lose track of how darned young he really is. In a sort of diametrically opposite context to Bojan “But he’s only 20” Krkic, this young man ought to be Leo “And remember he’s only 24” Messi. As Leo equals Kubala’s record of 194 goals and powers his way up to second spot in the pantheon of top scoring Barca legends, we could write a couple of paragraphs on the quantitative analysis of his brilliance, but we wouldn’t want to bore you to tears. Besides, we have more innovative ways of achieving the same effect, so there.
(This is our post on Barcelona TheOffside. Click here to read the full post).
So what are the intangibles that make Messi so…er…Messi? Apart from his other-worldly talent and ability to run straight through half the opposing team and tap the ball casually into the net? Or causing rival defenders to pray fervently that they be spared the starring role in the next viral youtube video looking like utter asses? Maybe it’s in part his normalcy as Pete Jenson quoted Pique from an El Pais article recently:
“What strikes you about him is that he is ridiculously normal. It seems impossible that he would be so natural and at the same time still have the same desire to be the best and help the team win as he had when he was 15 years old.” – Gerard Pique
“I am just a normal guy who happens to play football for a living” says Messi in his latest interview with FourFourTwo magazine. We’ll just take his word for it, despite our building suspicion that he’s hiding a smallish spaceship in his cellar. Or maybe it’s his grace and comportment in the football field.
Oops sorry. Wrong pic. But you get the general idea.
Perhaps what defines Messi (apart from his extraordinary talent of course) is his ability to remain the cynosure of all eyes and exponentially mounting expectations and yet remain seemingly oblivious to it all.
“I have spoke with Abidal a lot about Messi’s game. He told me that Messi’s mentality is outstanding, he always stays relaxed.” – Ribery [fifa]
“He has the same attitude to the game as he had being a child! During training sessions he behaved like a carefree little boy who had told his mother: ‘I will be back in two hours, just play football for a while!’ That is the way he is!” – Chygrynskiy [totalbarca translation]
“My first thought is having fun. I consider that a good way of reaching my objective – winning titles with my team” – Leo Messi [fourfourtwo]
That’s a good objective. If there’s one thing Barca fans really appreciate, it’s the team winning more titles. And it’s always a pleasure if Messi can break eleventy billion records along the way, as befitting his talent. Here’s to hoping for many more years of the same or better. Perhaps, all said and done, the best way to summarize Messi would be in the picture below.
The football player who plays with a smile.