Lionel Messi is a freak. In ten years we’ll probably be talking about how his work on the global stage is unlikely ever to be repeated. Just like people did with Pele, Maradona, and like I say about Eric Cantona.
Anyway. Here’s Messi as a five year old. The ball is almost half his size, and it’s still on a string.
Here he is ripping Bayer Leverkusen apart in the Champions League 19 years later.
Barcelona play a beautiful style of football. It is mesmerising.
Allas is a YouTuber who is devoting his energy to studying what makes them tick. The production quality of some of these is low, but if you’ve ever wanted to understand the way modern football is played – get on this…
A lot of what they do revolves around the brilliance of Lionel Messi.
I’m pretty excited about the Champions League Final this weekend. My favourite team is playing my favourite team to watch. Man Utd v Barcelona. It doesn’t get much bigger than this. The fate of both teams essentially rests on the shoulders of two little men, a midfield maestro hailed as the best of all time, and a midfield dynamo who will be charged with the task of containing him. Lionel Messi v Park Ji Sung.
Quickly enough, though, he immersed himself in the Barcelona style, which demands flair and creativity, not mere utility. He played the keep-away game called El Rondo, in which one player stands inside a circle trying to steal passes made in tight spaces. He mastered the system known as tiki-taka, built around short, rhythmic passes and movement described by Iniesta as “receive, pass, offer,” triangular exchanges that form a spellbinding geometry.
On occasion, Messi does break his reticence. On Thursday, he said he played with the same eagerness that he did in Argentina when he improvised soccer balls from stones and women’s tights and cans of cola. “I have fun like a child in the street,” he said. “When the day comes when I’m not enjoying it, I will leave football.”