The devastating record-breaking Barcelona and Lionel Messi in the UEFA Champions League sends shivers down my spine. It sends Bayern Leverkusen out of the Cup as well, of course.
The chilling accuracy of Messi in front of goal, the efficiency of completing the attacking moves was of the highest order. It was hard to believe Barca are second in the domestic league. Taking that line of thought, it would mean Real Madrid and Cristiano Ronaldo are better their counterparts.
The scintillating performance did not resonate with my earlier allegation of the Catalans being a spent force. With my love for pies, I should be indulging in a humble one, but wait, I am not budging. It is a question of time. Using my newly found favourite term, one swallow does not make a summer.
The mention of Barcelona is just because Messi plays for them, but he is the main subject. The Argentinian has been crowned thrice in a row, as the best technician of his trade. H e has won the next one, no doubt, well before time. I would even suggest crowning him for the next 3 years for the performances he still has give so far, iced by the latest 5 goal haul.
The greatest footballers have been known to influence the match single-handedly. Most of them, thus they became global icons, were watched by the world at the grand stage of the FIFA World Cup, to claim their status. The team-work played little role to influence their impact in the game and matches they played.
Many would have telling contributions for the clubs they turned out for. Their influence was however limited to the world around their clubs. Due to the global village brought about by the digital technology, the world can enjoy a week in and week out the best strutting their stuff of the field.
Over the years, especially at the turn of the century, the debate of the Footballer of the Century became a heated argument and a political issue. Many were at loggerheads and almost coming to blows over Pele and Maradona. The extrapolation of the hullabaloo spilled into the new millennium.
Having watched the greats like Pele, Puskas, Eusebio, De Stefano, Johan Cryuff, Sir Stanley Mathews, George Best, Diego Maradona, Zinedine Zidane and Lionel Messi, the question of the greatest footballer of all time has been answered. There is no more argument. Pele and Maradona can now fight for the old century dominion. They must call Zidane with them, because I do not think Zizou is that far off. (You really did not have to see them.)
Messi’s tag as a flop at the national team remains a huge concern. From where I stand, the way the magician is playing, there is a lot left from where that performance came from. As sober as he appears to us, his clean life and humble take on the game, leaves him with 2 or 3 World Cups ahead. There is enough time to give doubters what they want.
To the footballing world who doubted him, me included, he really does not need to do that at all, but I know he will. He is the greatest.
- Lionel Messi or Pele; who is the greatest? (3news.co.nz)
- Individual highlights: Lionel Messi’s historic 5-goal haul (Barcelona) vs Bayer Leverkusen (101greatgoals.com)