Lionel Messi’s career generated several marvelous moments. From magical nights in the Camp Nou, to sometimes even better ones in the Santiago Bernabeu, the man simply made people happier. We feel grateful to watch him play and we treasure every moment. But, something about Lionel Messi’s career, which happens to be the most eventful career most sports fans have seen, is just not right.
There is so much noise around the genius of Lionel Messi.
To be more precise, there is so much noise around the final years of Lionel Messi’s career. Maybe the source of this noise is the fact that his career is almost over and people have not been handling it well.
During Pep’s time at the club, Leo was considered, as he is now, the best player in the world. Not only that, he also had 7-8 of some of the best players on the planet as teammates. The cherry on top was being coached by the best coach in the club’s history. It was truly a dream. But to respect that era enough, one has to describe it as a dream or at least an exception. Not giving it the respect that it deserves later created countless disappointments, and these disappointments generated the noise.
After Tito’s time at Barcelona, a very dark presence started haunting the Barcelona fanbase and even football fans in general worldwide. Everything about people’s perception of Lionel Messi would suddenly be surrounded with negativity, unfairness, and an all around lack of common sense.
How so? Let me explain.
Football fans went from praising an entire Barça team and its coach for winning a treble to belittling another Barça team and coach which did exactly the same. Messi went from being a magnificent player who plays for a well structured team in 2009 to a magnificent player who is so magnificent that he dragged his worthless team and coach to a treble. There is a famous statement that says: “Messi won the treble”.
And so, the era of noise began.
Every teammate Messi has, whether good or average, is now carried by Messi. Every coach Messi had and will have post Tito, is now incompetent and is being carried by Messi’s individual brilliance. People decided to randomly keep a blind eye to the fact that even in Pep’s days, when things got real, Messi was often the creator or the goalscorer and there was absolutely nothing wrong with that. But that’s the era of noise and that’s how it works.
Nothing says noise like the Ballon D’or, football’s worst infection. The nonsense generated by this award, has somehow led people to believe that Messi’s importance comes down to an extremely flawed golden ball and not how he contributes to matches all year long. The Ballon D’or, an individual award in a sport of 11, has been given almost as much attention as contributing, in a once in lifetime fashion, to a league trophy or a Champions League trophy.
This is how football fans do things in 2017. This is the real noise.
One thing has haunted Messi’s career and it’s his trophies for Argentina. To be fair, this is not very accurate. What haunted Leo is actually specific moments in Maradona’s career. I say moments because Maradona’s career as a whole could never haunt Leo as Leo overshadowed him as a player based on the testimony of countless football fans who have watched both. These moments are simply world cup related moments. Yes, the prestigious 7 match summer competition which happens every four years which hundreds of players far weaker than Lionel Messi have won is people’s true obsession. Don’t get me wrong, the world cup is in fact football’s biggest competition. But in no shape or form does it change Lionel Messi’s impact on a football match and how he made Maradona’s best performances his weekly display. 7 summer matches, where anyone can win if the stars align(as is the case with any knockout competition), do not change anything about Lionel Messi’s status as a footballer.
The only thing that changes is Argentina’s trophy count.
As for Lionel Messi, he will stay the player with the most impact on a football match with no world cup or with 3 world cups, with no Ballon D’or award or with 10 Ballon D’or awards. And everything else is just noise.