Monday, April 21, 2008

Lionel Messi(ah)

Given how far Barca have fallen this season, everyone knows there's one way, and one way only, that they're getting through United: the Flea.

With that in mind, I just wanted to post a couple of stories on the wunderkid and some tidbits from said stories.

As some of you probably know, Messi - still only 20, remember - was diagnosed with a hormonal deficiency when he was a kid. Doctors said he wouldn't grow past 4'7". The treatment for the condition was financially well beyond Messi's family, especially given the fact that Argentina's economy was in the throes of a massive crisis in those days. Even his local club said they couldn't/wouldn't pay the $900 a month it required. In stepped Barca, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Anyway, to go back in time for a second, here's what happened his first day at school:
His first day at school saw him excluded from the playground kickabout on the basis that neither team thought him worth having on their side [because of his height]. Incensed, he barged on to the pitch, took command of the ball and dribbled around both teams. Thereafter, he became the first pick.

Here's what he had to say about Cristiano Ronaldo:
"Cristiano is a great player," said Messi nonchalantly, when quizzed. The best in the world? Messi just returned an impudent smile. "Very good," he replied.

Heh. Here's Messi on the urgency he felt when he was diagnosed with his condition:
It was a crisis. “I needed medical treatment and it couldn’t wait,” recalls Messi. “I was 1.32m (4ft 4in) tall and 11 years-old. It wasn’t an issue of vanity.” To look at the 20-year-old Messi is to be assured that this is not a man troubled by vanity. He wears his hair in a floppy mop, dresses in faded jeans and whatever tracksuit or T-shirt his sponsor hangs on him.

To be sure. Here's Juan Sebastian Veron on Messi:
"I see Maradona every time he grabs the ball and accelerates. But he is shy, like a little brother who likes to hang out with PlayStation rather than talk. We must protect him. I'd personally put him in a drawer of my bedside table."

And here's Messi himself, on his child-like inability to follow advice:
Ronaldinho, Deco, and Juan VerĂ³n, when I'm with the national team, always tell me I should dribble when I'm near the area and pass when I'm further away, otherwise opponents can foul me knowing I won't get a dangerous free-kick or a penalty. I do try to take their advice, but the trouble is I really like playing with the ball at my feet.

Here's the cutest ad you'll ever see a professional athlete in. Honestly, sometimes you just want to pull his cheeks.

And to wrap this up, here's that goal against Getafe last year:

Let's hope Wednesday goes ok.


zeyd said...

I hope he runs circles around manure and reminds everyone just who the greatest player in the world really is.

Asfandyar said...


Chelsea fan is being unimaginative shocker!

Ahsan said...

The biggest concern with Messi is his health. His hormonal condition and his repeated injuries are not unrelated. Some combination of his condition and the pace at which he runs, not to mention the pounding he takes out there, means injuries are almost inevitable. He's missed significant chunks of the last three seasons. My fear is that he'll never be a 35 games a year player.

Farooq said...

So basically ure saying he is the Shoaib Akhtar of football. Thats basically what ure trying to say right? Substitute a hyperextended elbow for a hormonal deficiency.

Ahsan said...

Well, no. The difference is that Messi doesn't fake injuries, he doesn't push his 60 yr-old coach, he doesn't hit his teammates with a bat, he doesn't go jet-skiing after pretending to be injured, he doesn't take steroids, he doesn't lie about being propositioned to throw matches, he works at hard to regain fitness when he *does* get injured, and he doesn't take his short off and run through streets in the dead of the night with Salman Khan.