Lionel Messi is simply a football genius. The argument over whether Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo is the best player in the world still rages on, but most people agree that neither can be considered the greatest ever until they win the World Cup, seemingly the ‘pinnacle’ of a players career. The little Argentine has been at Barcelona his whole career and has shown a lot of dedication towards the club who were willing to take a chance on a player so small that doctors were forced to prescribed Messi growth hormones to boost his growth.
So what are the 7 key attributes to Lionel Messi that has made him such a phenomenon?
He wouldn’t be the player he was today if he didn’t have unbelievable skill which he possesses in abundance. He dances past players if they weren’t even there due to his quick feet and low centre of gravity which make him almost untouchable at times. He has a different skill to that of Cristiano Ronaldo who performs tricks to get past opponents.
Even when he was younger and players were twice as big him, Lionel was mentally strong enough to let his football do the talking. He has a very humble background and very rarely do you see him in the headlines for the wrong reasons. This stability off the pitch enables him to mentally concentrate on the pitch and put his whole focus towards Barcelona and Argentina.
With the pressure situations that Lionel faces on a daily basis, none more so than the expectant Barcelona fans who are waiting for him to create a piece of magic every time he has the ball. In a 1 on 1 situation the magician seems to keep a cool head at the critical times and always elects the right type of shot to beat the goalkeeper whether it be passed into the net or scooped.
Along with the expectations and pressures of having to deliver every game, he seems to do so and his performances are consistently of a high level. Some players often perform at a 7/10 regularly which is consistent and have a solid 8/9 game every so often. However, Lionel seems to perform at 8/9 out of 10 week in week out demonstrating tremendous consistency.
At just 5’7, you would expect him to get knocked off the ball in any 50/50 but his strength at such a small height is largely contributed by his balance. Despite receiving numerous bumps and knocks on his mazy dribbles, you rarely see Messi off his stride and will continue on his run leaving the defenders in his shadow.
His speed and agility are a step above the rest. Although he’s not lighting quick, his acceleration and ability to turn in tight spaces extremely quick makes his next move much easier. His speed enables him to get away from defenders and create himself the opportunities to either go for goal himself or set up a team mate in a better position.
As a Barcelona player you’d fully expect his passing and vision to be extraordinary. Despite scoring bundles of goals, he also has a lot of assists to his name due to his unselfishness in front of goal and his vision of team mates and space around him.