Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Messi

I've made it no secret in the last few years that in my mind Messi is better than Ronaldo, and that for the rest of his career we just need to enjoy watching him and feel privileged that we are alive when this man is playing football. There is absolutely no doubting the goal scoring prowess of Ronaldo, but Messi is so much more than that. If you take away his goal records for Barcelona you would still be watching an artist on the pitch, capable of picking a pass out from 5 to 80 yards no problem. Capable of dribbling at defenders and going past them with ease, time after time. He isn't as quick as he used to be, but he still has the burst of pace, that first 3 yards is as quick as anyone. His awareness of where opponents and teammates are at all times is just incredible, it is like he is watching the game from the stands. He is often compared to a computer game, his close control and dribbling almost as if the ball is stuck to his foot, and when you add in that he is the best finisher in the history of the game, you have someone who I think we will never see the likes of in our lifetime.

Now that he will be 30 this year, it is time to just forget about records and comparing his goals to Ronaldo, or whether you think he could do it in the Premier League and just enjoy watching him and be happy that footage of him will exist to show your children and grand children. He is a once in a generation player that we will be lucky to see anything like again.

Ronaldo is probably the greatest goalscorer of all time, but I am convinced we will see someone like him again not too far away. An athlete with an incredible attitude and willingness to improve and try to be the best in the world. A goalscorer with a mentality that he is only happy after a game if he has scored, no matter how the team plays. Someone so driven to win and achieve greatness they will do anything to get it. Yes of course he is blessed with natural talent, but you can see and admire how hard he has worked to get where he has.

One thing that is not said enough with Messi, because he is so good at dribbling is just how calm and composed he is in front of goal. Anywhere inside 20 yards he passes it in to the corner. It should be easy, if you were passing to a teammate 20 yards away with a side foot you wouldn't even think about it, but the mental aspect of it being the goal makes it tough for your average player. Messi makes it look easy time and time again, no matter how much pressure he is under, when in the game it is, what the score is, he slots the ball in the corners, top and bottom, both sides. He also does it from free kicks more regularly than most, which makes it strange that he has missed so many penalties. I always wondered why he doesn't just run up and place it top corner, I'm sure he could if he wanted to 99 out of 100 times. It is the only part of his game that is in line with the average footballer.

I have never seen Messi live, but I have to do it before he retires. It might be a good 6 or 7 years away yet, but his decline will start soon because his genius can't last forever unfortunately. It is an absolute joy to watch him on the television, and we will never forget him as long as we live, I know I will be telling any grandchildren about him, the greatest footballer that has ever lived.

5 x Ballon D'or winner, should probably be more



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