Football: Get Over It.

Am I the only one who thinks that FIFA should not be the absolute organization for global football? Sepp Blatter’s countless insensitive and stupid comments -most recently concerning Kevin-Prince Boateng’s walk-off racism rage. Last night showed how much their credibility had gone worse: Lionel Messi’s Ballon d’Or for the fourth (consecutive) times.

Please bear in your mind, that I do not hate Messi. There might be a slight sentiment towards him -me being a Madridista-, but I think that he IS a great player, and I do believe that he’s one of the best today. In fact, to be honest, I hate both Barcelona and Real Madrid right now (but more eternally for the former), because they shaped the game into a heavy David vs Goliath themed ambitious entertainment, rather than a beautiful game of battle, pride, and sportsmanship. I’m at the point where I wish that Atletico Madrid, Bilbao, or Valencia would win the La Liga, so the big two would just shut the fuck up.

But Messi is not that awesome. Sure, he scored more goals than Gerd Muller and Pele in one year. Sure, he consistently (and probably single handedly) escalated Barcelona into a beautiful comeback in the first half of the season. Sure, he left Cristiano Ronaldo bleeding and angry under his shadows. But to me, the boy is either a coward or damn smart.

Lionel Messi (and probably his parents at the beginning) knows what kind of talents he has. And it’s just natural to develop them in the best academy in the world: La Masia. And like a match made in heaven, the club opened their arms. Add that his modest personality, his calm but sharp character, and persistent magic, it only takes time until he’s reborn to be the greatest striker of this generation. Yet still, the best player in four years at only 25 years old?

To me, Lionel Messi and Barcelona today are just overrated. Both are lucky to have the best supporting actors at their dispense. To me, without Xavi and Iniesta controlling the midfield, and Puyol at the back, both won’t have this much glory. All three are the reasons why Spain is the champions of the world, and not Argentina. Let’s not start to compare him with Gerd Muller, a player who brought West Germany to win a World Cup in the days when the balls and boots were heavier and the defenders were allowed to shove elbows into his ribs and jaw. Nor to compare him with Pele who could dance with that same kind of ball to win three World Cups. Also, Argentina had a better messiah: Diego Maradona. This is the guy who never feared of leaving well established clubs (Barcelona) to meet bigger challenges -most notably helped a crippled Napoli into their golden years in the 80s’.

To add another view towards Messi’s four Ballon d’Or, I think he deserved to win two of them, but the other two were purely the bastard child between popularity expose and wonderfully orchestrated team mates. In 2010, Wesley Snejder, a genius Dutch midfielder led Internazionale Milan into their history making treble glory. At the same summer, he again led his national team in the World Cup, took them straight to the final match, and scored 5 goals in the process. Messi did not score in the competition, nor he won more cups than Sneijder that year. But Messi was crowned the world’s best player. Last year, the record breaking year, Andres Iniesta was the main actor in Spain’s third consecutive major championship, bringing them to win their third European Cup, and gradually taking the role of playmaker from Xavi with a string of impressive and consistent performances. Iniesta was the competition’s best player. Or maybe Bastian Schweinsteiger, probably the only German who deserve at least one golden appreciation after leading Bayern Muenchen into three runner-ups positions, and Germany into the European semi-finals again. Messi couldn’t even lead his country to win his continent’s regional cup hosted in his homeland the year before. Again, Messi brought home the golden ball.

I guess, as much as it is with the game itself, the foundation can be as fair to a certain point. I’m pretty sure, at the peak of their careers, Muller, Pele, and Maradona were both praised and booed. Comparison surely be inevitable. But I would really appreciate Lionel Messi more, had he have the courage to walk out of a very comfortable zone, and search challenges that’s gonna fit more to his moniker as the ‘Messiah’. A Messiah is supposed to be a saviour, a God-like figure to lead a descending society out of their imminent extinction and into their glory. But why would you need to save Barcelona, when they already have the best team? Go move to QPR and prove what kind of magic you actually have.


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