The passing of the torch, from Ronaldinho to Lionel Messi
Barcelona's Ronaldo De Assis Moreira, more famously known as Ronaldinho is a player widely known to be the most skilful footballer to have ever lived. On his day, he could rip apart teams with a healthy grin on his face and could bring the whole crowd to their feet out of sheer amazement, regardless of which stadium, be it the Bernabeu or Camp Nou
He had ruled the game for oh so long.
On the other hand, a young lad by - a certain Lionel Messi - had been wreaking havoc in Barcelona's youth academy - a star who had a sparkle unmatched by any other. This boy had been promoted quickly through the ranks and had impressed on every level.
Start of something special
Defenders of the starting team were nervous when it came to facing the little magician, as he humiliated players of the A team with ease. At the mere age of 16 years, the boy made his debut for the main team against FC Porto.
This marked the rise of a player who would go on to make history. Ronaldinho, the king of the Camp Nou of that time, had stated that the lad would go on to be the best player of all time. This was the first glimpse of the passing of the torch, although, Ronaldinho was still very much ruling football.
The inevitable end of the rule of arguably, the most magically gifted player to ever grace a football field had arrived. People believed that the way he played was unparalleled and no other player could ever match his level, but then came Lionel Messi, a player who went on to defy all odds, a player who broke through all expectations, a player who got people thinking “Is he better?”
Akin to how a baby twists and plays with his toys, Messi played with defenders' ankles, as if he controlled them. It didn't take long for people to recognise that the lad was special.
People went on to compare him with the all-time greats regardless of his very young age, some even questioned whether he was human, as that the things Messi does with a football is far too deluxe for simple human beings to imagine.
The start of a whole new era
This marked the beginning of the reign of a player who took the word BEST to another level, the player who would go on to rule the footballing world for the generation to come, there marked the beginning of a new era of football.
The era of Lionel Andres Messi. The torch had been passed, Messi had succeeded the great Ronaldinho to the throne. From shattering all the goal scoring records to single-handedly taking his team to the World Cup final, this man has done it all.
He was an integral part of the great sextuple-winning Barcelona team under the management Pep Guardiola, in the 2009-10 season, during which time, he had formed an unerring partnership with the midfield magicians, Andres Iniesta and Xavi Hernandez.
However, this led to the media accusing Messi of his supposed dependency on the Spaniards. However, After Xavi left, Messi adapted and settled into his role to neutralize the void left by him, showcasing his dazzling playmaking abilities.
The scary part of all this is that Messi's goalscoring exploits didn't drop and he is still one of the favourites to win the golden boot, and is also leading the way in both, goalscoring and assist charts in La Liga.
All the accusations began to fade away, as Messi proved all his doubters wrong, and is now continuing to further cement his legacy as the greatest player to have ever played the game.