A glimpse into wildlife reveals the true beauty of nature. The elephants bath with their mighty trunks showering them with the glorifying water, the peacocks are there with their vibrant feathers, the lions roar with the authority of a king… but our eyes are always caught by the nimble movements of a rabbit.
Rabbits are adorable creatures. They can be the best of pets and the most effective of stress-busters. They move with delicate mobility as it oozes a sense of delight to the eye. Somehow, we always root for them, the innocence in their ways obliges us to.
And the Premier League now has a Spanish bunny rabbit in its ranks, a player so lithe that you won’t ever feel somnolent watching him.
Morata? Nah. The former Real Madrid man is more like a bulldozer with the elegance of a ballet dancer. This guy, however, is tiny, pocket-sized dynamite.
Against Real Madrid in the La Liga earlier this year, this 28-year-old man showed his magnificence with astute playmaking abilities. Among the horde of giants, there was this rabbit that was moving around with electrifying nimbleness, so to speak.
At one point, while breaking through on a counter from a Real Madrid corner, he received the ball deep in his own half and burst forward like a packet of energy that just exploded. He ran and ran and ran and ran, his hands and feet moving so adorably – like a bunny – that you could actually feel your heart going “aww.”
But it doesn’t end at cuteness – because then it would be pointless – rather, he converts it to efficiency by sliding a pass down to his right and piercing the Madrid defence in the process. Jese, the former Real Madrid man that received the pass, is presented with a clear-cut chance, but couldn’t bury it as Keylor Navas makes a smart save down his right.
In that game against Madrid, Las Palmas came out with a draw from the Bernabeu – and Roque Mesa, the adorable bunny, was the most influential player for the Canarians. And it wasn’t just confined to that game alone as the Spaniard was their finest player all season.
The archetype Spanish midfielder
The footballer is the archetype Spanish midfielder: short, nimble and a pass-master. Only Steven N’Zonzi and Toni Kroos had a pass-per-game ratio than his 70.8 passes-per-game. When it comes to accuracy, only the aforementioned German has a better accuracy rate than Mesa’s 91.4%.
He oozes the Xavi-esque aura whenever he passes the ball. Like the Catalan once did, Mesa makes a lot of passes and continuously moves around trying to build up from them and set the tempo of the game.
Also read: 10 greatest Spanish players of all time
Sitting at the base of midfield, he was the fulcrum of Las Palmas’ system. Indeed, when Mesa was at the top of his game, it felt as though the sun had exploded and was consuming everything and everyone with its unbearable radiance.
The physicality of the Premier League is an aspect that is always brought up when foreign players are signed. However, over the years, Spanish players have shown that they are more than equipped to deal with it.
Mesa might be short and might look small on the eye, but he is as stout as one of his height could get. Like a pocket-sized bull-dog, he is quite bulked up and forms a daunting presence in front of the defence.
Indeed, it is quite hard to go past this man. Mesa might be a little rash in the tackle but his positional awareness and intelligence is at an admirable level – something that allows him to block the passing lanes for the opposition.
Swansea City manager, Paul Clement, saw the talent in him and moved quickly to acquire his signature. It has only been a few weeks for him at the Welsh club and he is already loved by the fans for his resolute nature.
Swansea have acquired a champion
With him on board, the Swans not only have a great player at their disposal, but a model leader that can galvanise his team-mates to play even better. Oh, and he has a perfect moustache, what’s not to like about him?
"It's a small promise with my wife because I told her I wouldn't shave my moustache until I get called up by the Spanish national team," he told Swansea's official website when asked about his ‘tache.
And the way he has been playing, it won’t be long before he fulfils his promise. It was under the white light of this very radiant Swan where Michu earned his Spain call-up at the age of 27, so it would be absurd to rule out something similar for the man who was the best midfielder in La Liga last season whilst not playing for the top 3.
Whatever be the case, rest assured that the Premier League will be graced by his divine presence. The son of a humble taxi driver, the Canarian believes in “work and more work without ever dropping your fists” – something that will allow him to succeed in the competitive nature of the Premier League.
Standing on top of a rotating chair, Mesa sings his initiation song at Swansea. “We are the champions,” is what he sang that day – and that is what he will show about himself in every game.
And how a bunny rabbit looks when it plays football.Published 29 Jul 2017, 06:44 IST