How Gossen's first law in Economics explain Messi's snub from FIFA Best and Ballon d'Or

Lionel Messi receiving Golden Shoe award
Lionel Messi receiving Golden Shoe award

Lionel Andrés Messi Cuccittini, the name needs no introduction. This pure footballing wizard is ruling the footballing world for the last twelve to thirteen years.

Xavi flawlessly sums why Messi is ahead of his pears.

“He’s better than you with his right foot, left foot and his head, “He’s better at defending and attacking. He’s faster. Better at dribbling, better at passing.”
“What about the goalkeeper,” the questioner asks. “We haven’t put him in goal yet,” comes the reply. “But watch out if he tries that too.”-- Xavi 

The five-time Ballons d'Or winner put up unworldly and ethereal performance week in week out on the pitch. 

His consistency and persistence to do unusual things on the pitch have raised the expectations of football fans by miles. He has raised the bar for himself. He single-handedly led Barcelona to almost invincible La Liga title, won the Copa del Ray, was the highest scorer in all competitions, won the fifth golden shoe, lead the list of assists, chances created, key passes, free kicks scored.

But where did it all end up? Sadly not even in top three of the FIFA Best awards, and Ballon d' Or.

People expect nothing less than a picture-perfect performance/season from Lionel Messi. Even if he is miles ahead of his compatriots, the bar he as set up over the years, makes people under appreciate him.

Explaining the snub via economics

Are we tired of greatness? If yes, who is to blame? The answer sleeps in theories and laws of Economics.

Let us begin with some basic definitions. 

Economics defines utility as the satisfaction or benefit derived by consuming a product. The marginal utility of a good or service is the change in the utility from an increase in the consumption of that good or service.

Gossen’s First Law, one of the three laws farmed by noted Prussian economist Hermann Heinrich Gossen asserts that

Gossen First Law: “The amount of one and the same enjoyment diminishes continuously as we proceed with that enjoyment without interruption until satisfaction is reached”.

It is more commonly known as the law of diminishing marginal utility. He deduced these laws based on general observations of human behaviour. 

In layman terms, it says that

"If enjoyment is experienced uninterruptedly, the corresponding intensity of pleasure decreases continuously until satiety is ultimately reached, at which point the intensity becomes nil" - Georgescu-Roegen, 1983

It is more commonly known as the law of diminishing marginal utility. He deduced this law based on general observations of human behaviour.

Even the most scenic place in the world can make you feel bored if you continue to visit it regularly. Even the most delicious food will taste dull if you eat it daily. Humans are born like this. We tend to prefer variation in our choices. 

The more a person consumes a commodity the total utility (satisfaction) derived from it decreases. 

The unbelievable and incredible stuff Messi produces every week has gradually become normal and usual for people.

We are witnessing unfailing, consistent level of performance over such a long period of time. And as the law asserts, the uninterrupted pleasure and satisfaction have led to a decrease in the corresponding intensity of happiness and benefit we derive. 

We are so used to the brilliance that it no longer satisfies us as it used to be. 

Messi's isolation from the awards should not surprise people. Journalists and players voting for awards have just become tired of watching greatness.

Edited by Kingshuk Kusari
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