Every 10 to 20 years the “futbol” or soccer world is fortunate enough to enjoy a great player one that stands on his own and shows us a new way to play the game. Over the years and since the beginning of the game, we’ve had a Just Fontaine, who holds the record for the most goals in a world cup (13 in 1958). Another great player, a few years later was Pele. The Brazilian super star scored over 1000 goals in his career and won three world cups (1958 at the age of 17, 1962, and 1970). After Pele the world was looking for another super star and a few players were in the run. However, no one was as convincing to the world as Diego Armando Maradona, a complete player in his prime, a different player with speed and stamina. He could handle the ball like no one and a most importantly, he was a mastermind inside the pitch.
Well, like the song says “that was then and this is now” … all great players, but today we are about to confirm what has been in the minds of every “futbol” fan around the world, is he or isn’t he, the best of all time? And yes, I am referring to the golden boy of Rosario Argentina, Lionel Messi. On Wednesday he did the unthinkable, he scored 5 goals in a single European cup match against Leverkusen, the German powerhouse. On Thursday, the world woke up to read all the major news paper headlines about Messi. They used words like “incredible”, “outstanding”, “out of this world” and “alien”, but my favorite was the one used by a local newspaper in Argentina that wrote in colorful letters “PICASSO”. This was their front page headline. Messi is different. He is very young, only 24 years old, never been seriously injured, and his present is as rich as his future.
The argument is set and everyone has time at the podium to discuss if he is or not, the greatest “futbol” player of all times. Many argue that he hasn’t won a world cup, well Just Fontain didn’t win one either, and many great players and super stars of the game did not accomplish the task of lifting the trophy on the final game of the World Cup, but the arguments continue everyday. After the game on Wednesday I think the soccer world starts to think that the MESSIAH is among us and his name is LIONEL MESSI.