With all the world’s negative news nowadays, here now is something different and uplifting. Being a life-long aficionado of the beautiful game of Associated Football (in North America named “soccer”), this game has provided me with some memorable recalls of plays, moments and players.
There are always those who stand out, the crème that rises to the top in any sport.
However, I have to dig deep into the chambers of my little grey cells to find a display of sheer magic like the performance of wizard Lionel Messi, the 24 year old Argentine superstar who plays for FC Barcelona. It makes you wonder if we’ll ever see another one like him this century.
Messi mesmerizes, baffles, bewitches and bewilders anyone who challenges him for the ball, and bothers goalies who shiver and pray when suddenly Messi comes face to face with them. Such as in yesterday’s match against Bayer Leverkusen from Germany in a Champions League match. Twice Messi came face to face with goalie Leno and on both occasions Messi - in what seemed nonchalantly – gave a brilliant example of the superb technique he possesses - lifted the ball over the keeper into the empty net. One goal with his left foot, and one with his right foot.
Messi can dribble not 1 but 4 or 5 opponents into a state of frenzy with his dazzling, unpredictable moves, scoring in any position or from any angle - from free kicks (now called set pieces), not to speak of his superb dead-on passes - to passes that sometimes even leave his teammates scratching their heads or apologizing when they do not ‘get it’. Yesterday’s end result: Barcelona 7 – Leverkusen 1. Oh, and this wunderkind scored a mere five goals. A record in the Champions League history. Already this Messi/ah has won the coveted Golden Ball for the world’s best player of the year, three times. It is not my nature to elaborate in my blog posts on the game, but watching Messi is so uplifting an experience I like to share his extraordinary handling of the ball, his humility, instinct and enthusiasm for the game.
Rare enough in these days of prima donnas and mega-salaried participants in the game.
Watching this “kid”, no matter how dark and cloudy it is, always brings blue skies and sunshine into your life.
We hope to see this display of awe and wonder presented and created by Lionel Messi the Magician for more years to come.