Just days after Lionel Messi was written off (yet again!), he has again managed to turn things around. His fantastic goal has led Argentina into the round of 16 at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. Most critics and Messi-haters were desperate for Argentina to be knocked out in the group stage, so that they could prove a point. Instead, it’s Messi who has managed to prove a point. He is still going strong and his will to play international football is still alive and well despite all the rumours. So let’s have a look at three reasons why Messi is the Greatest Of All Time (GOAT):
1) Performing Under Pressure
Let’s face it, Argentina were under tremendous pressure. Before the final round of matches, they were bottom of their group, and in need of a win. At the same time, they needed the other result in their group to go their way. Step forward Leo Messi. In the 14th minute against Nigeria, Messi managed to score a beautiful goal from inside the box. This gave the team a huge boost, and they managed to go on to win the match. Messi played well throughout this crunch match, creating a number of other chances. This supreme performance under pressure has once again proved that Messi is the best by far. He may not have won a World Cup till now, but he truly is a magician and a joy to watch.
2) Goalscoring Record
Messi’s goalscoring record has been phenomenal throughout his career. He may not be a typical centre forward but he has atoned for this by using his magical feet. He has won a host of individual and team trophies at club level. Barcelona’s recent thumping success has been attributed to Messi’s rise. He has scored 50 goals in a season consistently, which is a massive achievement. To add to this, he has also provided a huge number of assists. People compare him to Ronaldo but forget that Messi is much younger and has plenty of time to overtake Ronaldo’s scoring records, and perhaps even Pele’s!
3) Creative Spark
Although he has played in very successful teams, many many times Messi has provided that but of magic required to turn a game. A good example was the Champions League Round of 16 match against Chelsea this season. Messi hadn’t scored against them previously and the Chelsea defence was doing well in the clash at Stamford Bridge. But Messi managed to score and led Barcelona to an aggregate win in the tie. This is the sort of creative spark he can provide. Even for his national side, he has managed to unlock resolute defences plenty of times, proving that there is no one quite like him!
To sum up, it is appropriate to put the GOAT tag on a player who has won 5 Ballon d’Ors and been the leading player in the world for the past decade. He has shown his magic time and again and proved that he is simply the best footballer there has ever been. And he has achieved all this after being diagnosed with a hormonal disease at a very young age. Now that is what you call Messi Magic!