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Lionel Messi in 2018: Another underrated year for the little genius

ANALYST
Feature
1.60K   //    21 Dec 2018, 16:16 IST

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

It is rightly said that we have a habit of taking things for granted in life. We fail to appreciate certain moments as we expect them to be there and eventually realize it values only when they are gone. It's time we acknowledge that this applies for Lionel Messi, too. Despite his countless displays of jaw-dropping brilliance almost every week, he is under appreciated.

Leo Messi failed to win the major individual awards like FIFA Best Award and came fifth at Ballon d'Or but statistics tell us a different story. He picked up another European Golden shoe for the record fifth time for scoring 34 goals in 36 appearances in LaLiga 2017-18. After his hattrick against Levante in the previous weekend, he became the first player to score 50 goals in the year 2018.

His scoring feats are taken for granted these days but evidently, it is true that Barcelona are truly lucky to have a player like him in their squad. Incredibly, Leo Messi has contributed more than 40% of Barcelona's goals in the last decade, far more than his contemporaries like Cristiano Ronaldo and Luis Suarez.

He has already scored 14 goals in the LaLiga and 6 in the UEFA Champions League, announcing another thunderous start into the new season. But what's astonishing is his incredible effect to dictate the game even without his goals. For instance, he racked up 2 assists in the same match when he scored a hat trick versus Levante.

RCD Espanyol v FC Barcelona - La Liga
RCD Espanyol v FC Barcelona - La Liga

Leo Messi's passing and vision is also significantly underrated and deserved more acclaim since he had more assists than his rivals. He was also one of the leading men when it comes to creating chances and it's quite astonishing how a forward can manage scoring goals and providing goals at ease in a regular basis.

When we talk about players, we specify their roles. For example, Cristiano Ronaldo has been one of the finest goalscorers in the last few years as he popped up in the right moments for Real Madrid, Portugal and now Juventus. When we talk about playmaking, we hail the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva and Mesut Ozil.

But that's not the case with Leo Messi. Evidently, his versatility and dynamism are one of the key reasons why he can get out of any tricky situations. It almost seems like he thrives under pressure from the defenders and makes it impossible to mark a player of his calibre.

Moreover, after the notable departures of legendary Xavi and Iniesta, Barcelona were bit sluggish but Leo Messi kept evolving. Whenever there was a lack of creativity, he dropped down, picked the ball from the halfway line and kept moving forward. Evidently, Barcelona has been dominant in the LaLiga for the last decade and picked up the domestic double in the last season.

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It is safe to say that even statistics will fail to measure the impact Leo Messi has on the pitch. He is a constant threat, who can do things which is impossible even in video games. He controls the game and dictates it with his amazing feet which makes him unreadable and unstoppable.

It's time that we acknowledge the greatness of Lionel Messi and be grateful, even if we are not the fans of FC Barcelona. After mesmerizing the whole world for more than a decade, Leo Messi is still football's finest even if he has failed to win any significant individual awards this year.

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ANALYST
A hardcore Mohunbagan fan who loves Brazil and Real Madrid.
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