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Opinion: The curse of being Lionel Messi

Modified 20 Dec 2019, 19:47 IST

FC Barcelona v Real Betis Balompie - La Liga
FC Barcelona v Real Betis Balompie - La Liga

Lionel Andres Messi Cuccittini. Despite being hailed as the best footballer in the world, creating jaw-dropping passes, sending defences to their cleaners, this man is termed as ‘not good enough’ by many. It might not even be his fault. What Messi offers on the pitch is nothing short of magic.

The way he plays the game is unparalleled. In spite of all the criticism that he garners, all the expectations that he shoulders, all the hate that people pour on him, he does his part again. 

He pulls his socks up every matchday, puts on his Blaugrana uniform, wears his heart on his sleeves, and importantly dances with the ball. We have run out of superlatives to describe this man. The Oxford dictionary isn’t big enough to offer synonyms for this man. Shakespeare wrote some beautiful lines back when he wrote his sonnets.

“Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?

 Thou art more beautiful and more temperate.”

What can we describe Messi with? The beauty of his football is beyond expressions. Shakespeare has made our part of the job easy by giving us these lines. We cannot describe the aura of the diminutive Argentine.

However, his haters do find words to describe each and every step that he takes. From the way he kisses his wife to the way he walks on the pitch, his haters can describe him as a penurious fellow.

Even poets like TS Eliot and Robert Frost would fail to find a disgraceful choice of words that people could to describe Lionel. His haters mocked his wife's Instagram posts when Argentina lost to Croatia. How does family connect to sports? 

Argentina v Croatia: Group D - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia
Argentina v Croatia: Group D - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

Lionel went down with after a horror challenge while playing against Sevilla. The agony on his face was visible. He rolled in pain clutching his arms. When Camp Nou saw the man in pain, they burst up at the top of the voices, “Messi, Messi”.

But the unfortunate way that some Social Media fan pages reacted was nothing less than diabolical. From saying that it was a fake injury to hoping for him to be sidelined for six-seven months, the level of hate that people have against this man is humongous.

Unfortunately, Barcelona succumbed to a 4-3 loss to Betis upon his return. This created another golden opportunity for his haters to spring upon. As Barcelona hadn’t lost in his absence, they termed the game as his fault.

FC Barcelona v Real Betis Balompie - La Liga
FC Barcelona v Real Betis Balompie - La Liga

There have been so-called fans who have gone to the extent of saying that Barcelona is worse with Messi and better without him. But looking back at the game, it doesn’t seem that it was his fault at all. How come he finished Man of the Match if it was his fault?

This reaction is expected though. Due to the high standards that he has previously set, people tend to expect more from the man. While he manages to exceed expectations at some cases and fails at other, people run away from the reality to degrade this man. Yesterday’s antics by some people are a proof to it.

Messi drags the team down? Messi deters other players' potential? What sense does this make? 

This isn’t the first time that people are picking on this legend. He always has to come under fire for his national team’s failures. Apparently, it is his fault that his nation lacks an international trophy. While everyone would be on their heels to mention his penalty miss, no one would mention his player of the tournament awards, which prove that he guided his nation to three finals, not destroy his nation’s hopes.

Vandalise his statues, stamp on his photos, spit on his records, what do you achieve? People couldn't even separate the ball from his left foot even in after breaking his statue in Argentina.

The Albiceleste doesn’t appreciate what this man has done for them. Even though Messi has not been able to win a major trophy for Argentina. He won an Olympic Gold Medal and a U20 World Cup, which is an achievement in itself.

If it was really about him, he would have joined Spain long ago. To think, he could have been a part of a team that won a World Cup and two Euro Cups, is a surprise in itself. Why he didn’t do it, no one seems to care about? All they care about is that he is an international failure. 

His tax fraud case is known to all. He was all over the reports over it, people made fun of him, there were reports highlighting the case time and again. But other players including Cristiano Ronaldo, Marcelo Vieira, Javier Mascherano, and Luka Modric have been found guilty in tax fraud. How many people talk about Ronaldo’s €18.8 million tax-fraud compared to Messi’s €4 million? Not many.

Barcelona's Leo Messi Testifies In Fraud Case

Everything aside, even when he performs his heart out on the pitch against Ecuador and sends his team to Russia single handily, a few days after there are photo-shopped images saying the match was fixed. Apparently, those who were behind it got in touch with the Ecuadorian player who admitted to letting Messi score from long range. How can someone assist in scoring from outside the box, twice? 

Jose Mourinho recently gave an interview in which he said, “If it rains in London tomorrow, it is my fault.” Jose was upset over the criticism he is getting, which although more than needed, were for the right reasons. And then I see this guy, who just puts his head down, walks into the tunnel and the next time we see him will be on the pitch and not against the media. Even if he is dejected and exits into the tunnel quickly, it is his fault. 

To be very honest, I have never been a great admirer of Albert Einstein as a scientist. Nikola Tesla and Isaac Newton make more sense to me. But Einstein’s philosophy is something that everyone admires. Here is a very famous quote from Albert Einstein:

“Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe.”

It is a very fair judgment from Albert Einstein. But does it matter? It is just that this man has been ruined by some media reports that degrade him. But he is still Lionel Messi. He is still arguably the greatest player of all time.

Being Messi could be the greatest thing in the world, but at the same moment, a very pressurising thing. There are still people who ask, is Messi talented? My answer is no. He is not talented. He does the ordinary because ordinary creates extraordinary. Talent is not the word to describe this little man. Genius might sound more astute and meaningful than everything else.

The curse of being Lionel Messi.

Published 12 Nov 2018, 22:11 IST
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