Why This Messi-ness People… Can We Stop Now?

Social media went berserk when Lionel Messi was awarded the Golden Ball winner of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil over some others. Millions took to Twitter and Facebook to express the good many reasons why Messi’s consolation prize was undeserved; some went as far as stating it was a marketing ploy by Adidas, who signed the footballer as their brand ambassador. All the while, Messi was a demigod. Minutes after Messi had lost what was touted as “the most important game of his lifetime”, the 27-year-old received an honour only to be faded away into obscurity!

While the best team in this World Cup got its due, the best player did not

While the best team in this World Cup got its due, the best player did not…

How ironical it is that the player who created the maximum ‘buzz’ during the World Cup 2014 didn’t even merit an award according to those who flooded social media websites outraged and that includes his one-time coach and Mentor Diego Maradona who endured the 1986 final but had forgotten his subsequent failures and moreover the shambolic events and drug controversies that followed. (I apologize to Maradona fans and him as I am one amongst them and a crazy one, but I need to be objective here) and let’s also face the truth: The Germans were far superior as a team and they deserved the win! And so, why blame Messi?

An article that came up in Washington Post made an interesting observation: “Irrespective of the records Messi breaks and sets, or the trophies he wins at the club level, Messi will never eclipse the legacy that his former coach Maradona or Pele created. He will forever live in their shadows… It’s not that Messi hasn’t already done so, or is incapable of exceeding the illustrious greats of the past; it’s the fact that we won’t allow it…”

Of course, this reaction of the mob against Messi is not quite surprising in an age where we live to analyze and criticize… that’s what we’re good at after all. We set insurmountable goals for some, and ridicule them when they fail to deliver.

Unfortunately, people must have forgotten that The World Cup winners of the past and the present (consider Germany) thrived due to a collective effort opposed to just a one-man brilliance. But that was not the case with Messi. One cannot say, Argentina had players who were fit enough, and who actually showed an outstanding performance in the game. Even top performers like Angel Di Maria and Sergio Aguero could not match up to the level they should have.

“Messi’s greatness is undisputed, even preternatural,” points out sports journalist Terry William. Playing for Spain’s Barcelona, he scored 91 goals in 69 games in 2012. FIFA has named Messi the best player in the world in four of the last five years. His gifts combine speed and intuition, doggedness and finesse. Put simply: he scores. All the time, believes William.

While some in Argentina now voice Messi was never Argentine enough as he left the country long ago and always played for Spain, Messi, however, could never shake his nationality. A dual citizen, he could have played for Spain in the World Cup. But he didn’t. He chose Argentina. “My style of playing is Argentine, not Spanish,” he once said in an interview.

At the end of the World Cup final, as I looked at the incredibly distraught Messi, holding the Golden Ball, an award which meant “absolutely nothing” to him, I felt SAD… well that’s the only word I can think of right now. He didn’t smile. He didn’t look at anyone. He didn’t break down like some of his team-mates. He didn’t speak a word… just erected a silent wall around himself….this moment no one knows better than Messi. Our only sorrow remains, while the best team in this World Cup got its due, the best player did not!

Yes, Messi missed his chance to win this World Cup! He missed a goal. But his statistics after the final were still among the best in the World Cup: 7 matches, 573 minutes, 4 goals, 1 assist, 23 chances created, 46 dribbles completed (Source: New York Times).

And still those who thought the genius did not deserve the Golden Ball (the best player of the World Cup award) should wake up, stop this Mess… He’s no God, he never was, but for once, pay respect to the hero and stop this nonsense! As a football critic from Bengal rightly points out, “Cherish Messi while you can, because you may never see a player of his stature in your lifetime.”

 

 

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5 responses to this post.

  1. He didn’t deserve it. It is not his fault…he got it for all the wrong reasons.

    The problem is that he is overhyped. He might be the best player on the planet, but as you rightly point out, even the best player needs a good team. And this tournament…let’s just say that Messi was pretty tired towards the end of it.

    He got a award he didn’t even want because he was Messi. And to be honest, the golden ball (which imho should go to a midfielder or defender either way, because those guys don’t get enough appreciation) doesn’t make any difference concerning his standing.

    I will applaud Messi for every award he deserves. And I don’t agree that he needs the cup to be one of the best. But this was BS.

    Reply

  2. Posted by Pamela on July 16, 2014 at 3:33 am

    I 100% agree with u that Messi is a player of a different stature. Why compare him to Maradona? Why compare him to Pele but our media is like that. They will do that. He is at the present the best player in Futball and we need to cherish this! Hip Hip Hurryyyyy
    Pamela

    Reply

  3. Posted by Michael Cabelo on July 16, 2014 at 3:52 am

    Every generation a new great emerges, and in my mind this generation’s greatest player lays a remarkably strong claim to being the greatest of all generations. Thre’s no debate its Lionel Messi. The Argentinian superstar is capable of feats few can even dream of, and the breathtaking consistency with which he performs makes him a talent that can only be admired. So let’s give him the due.

    Reply

  4. Posted by Chris Dally on July 18, 2014 at 6:41 pm

    Hats off, Lionel. We’re privileged to watch football in your era. Great article!

    Reply

  5. Posted by kelvin Hussie on July 20, 2014 at 5:48 pm

    Messi is amazing. Everybody knows that. Most of us have witnessed his extraordinary exploits in the past three years – in each of which he has won the Ballon d’Or. Messi is a world-class midfielder, winger and striker rolled into one.This World Cup should not be the ultimate platform to prove his legacies.

    Reply

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