9 months ago

Lionel Messi: the greatness redefined!

Lionel Messi with the Best FIFA Player trophy in Paris on February 27, 2023 --Reuters file photo
Lionel Messi with the Best FIFA Player trophy in Paris on February 27, 2023 --Reuters file photo

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Where is Messi - Where is Messi? Just a few months ago, this was the ostensibly the most popular question in the world. Lionel Messi's response to it has been inarguably, incontrovertibly, and unquestionably overwhelming - Messi is at the epitome of football, with the highest title in his hand, and undoubtedly proving that he is THE GOAT. As Argentine and Messi fans continue to bask in the glory of Messi's football divinity and greatness, the naysayers' murmur were becoming sheepishly audible again. As if they wanted to insinuate, "Okay, Messi is the world champion and the best in the world. But now what?"

Well, Messi in his humble greatness, once more proves to the world the magnanimity of his footballing skills. In the same week, the GOAT has acquired the FIFA Best Player Award (no surprise there); and, set a new record, a habit that seems second nature for the Alien.

Messi crossed the unique milestone of scoring 700 goals in club football, a feat only one other has achieved; and that is none other than CR7, Messi's compatriot and contemporary legend. Even the Great Pele didn't get the opportunity to cross this milestone, and his record remains the third highest of goals in club football - Messi and Ronaldo currently holding the second and first positions respectively. By the way, Romario holds the fourth position in this category. But before we delve into Messi's continuous display of football magic and achievements, we must underscore the fact that Messi and Ronaldo both deserve a magnanimous applause for crossing the unique milestone of 700. The third and fourth name in this list are not playing anymore, obviously; and their tally is at least 25 goals less than Messi and Ronaldo. Thus, it seems that current football players would not be crossing this milestone soon, if ever any current player does so - seems very unlikely. Thus, Messi and Ronaldo both are undoubtedly the best and the most formidable footballers of their times. Messi just achieved divine greatness, while Ronaldo's overall circumstances did not offer him the same opportunities as Messi's did. This will certainly be one of the greatest disappointments for football itself.

On that note, it must be acknowledged that Messi is cruising on the highest note of his football career with the world championship, Copa America titles in his bag, and numerous other accolades and records. At the age when most footballers are passing the dusk of their career, Messi remains the most prized footballer for any team, and is likely to lead his country in yet another international competition. His consistency in the club football has been nothing short of an epic, and his world cup victory adds the flair of fairy tales that are cherished throughout the ages. His performance in the world cup has got him the FIFA Best Player Award, and another Ballon d'or is also highly likely.

Argentine fans, whenever talking of football, can now begin every sentence with "World Champion Lionel Messi" and conclude it with "Messi is the greatest player of all time." Naysayers may find it exaggerating, but find me anyone else who has shown Messi's consistency - displaying top performance, for the top clubs, at the top competitions, with top skills, and scoring top class goals. No other player has the knack of scoring impossible goals, as Messi has - another habit that is inherent to the Alien.

All has been said for Messi, his majestic skills, and grand achievements. Difficulty is, Messi continues to break newer frontiers and milestones such that available lexicon is proving deficient to describe them with the appropriate fervor. Thus, repetition is what we have opt for. Honestly speaking, for Messi and Argentina fans, like myself, this repetition is sheer euphony, and immensely gratifying. So, here it is, to conclude this round of Messi applause and extolling - Messi has answered all the questions, doubts, and debates about his stature in football. The debate whether he is the best is over, the next Maradona is search is appeased, the world championship quest is accomplished, and newer frontier achievements are adding to his prodigious career. Messi is now above par than all the previous standards of individual greatness. And as things are going, the bar just continues to rise higher and higher.

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