When it comes to the conversation of who the greatest football player in history is, a name you will always hear at the top of many people’s lips is Lionel Messi.
He is a culmination of many talents we have never seen before and will most likely never see again. Whenever he touches and dribbles with the ball there is an aura of sumptuousness whenever you watch.
Even among the rest of football greats, he is just a little different.
Hey! Guys, welcome back to my storybook and today we are going to see what makes Lionel Messi stand out from the rest of football greats.
Born on June 24, 1987, in Rosario, Santa Fe Argentina Lionel Messi fell in love with the game by default. This is due to the fact, he came from a football-centered family. He would play with his three brothers and cousins during the early stages of his life.
Before he could learn to walk and speak Lionel Messi was already a prodigy. His maternal grandmother Celia would always accompany him to play games. At just the age of four, Messi would join a local club Called Grandoli where he was coached by his father- Jorge Messi.
Fast forward two years later, Messi would join his favorite childhood club called Newell’s Old Boys. He would go on to score almost 500 goals during his spell with the club. This made the club to be nicknamed ‘The Machine of 87’ referencing the nickname from his birthday date (1987).
Unfortunately, before his eleventh birthday, Messi’s maternal granny would pass on. He was, to say the least, devastated innovating the iconic goal- celebration of looking up and pointing to the sky in paying tribute to the late grandmother.
At the age of 10, little Messi was diagnosed with a growth hormone deficiency. However, this did not deter Messi from following in the footsteps of his idol. His idol was Ronaldo the Phenomenon. Messi labeled Ronaldo as “the best forward I have ever seen.”
His treatment would cost his family roughly 1000 dollars a month and this was when he was scouted by Barcelona who believed despite his size and medical condition had unparalled talent. They were willing to bet it all and did everything they could to treat his unusual medical condition. The rest became history.
Now it is certain that history and statistics are there for looking at what an illustrious career Lionel Messi has had in his career at clubs and country- Barcelona, PSG, and now Inter Miami.
Here is what makes Lionel Messi a little different from the likes of Maradona, Ronaldo, Johan Cruyff, Cristiano Ronaldo, Pele, and a plethora of many more.
In 2012, Lionel Messi set a milestone which on my own objective opinion will hardly be ever broken. He scored a ridiculous 91 goals in a single calendar year! He broke the previous record of 85 goals set in 1972 by the legendary Gerd Muller. The fascinating part of all this is that he did so in only 69 matches which is a staggering 1.32 goals per game ratio- guaranteeing he would score at least one goal every game. This performance earned him a spot in the Guinness Book of record. This is mind-blowing!
Something else that only Messi can do is the fact that he is the only player in history to clinch the Ballon d’Or accolade for four consecutive years- From 2009- 2012.
Similarly, he is the youngest player to ever win four Ballon d’Or accolades at the age of 25. Huh! I need to breathe!
Much to the surprise of many, Messi is the all-time top-scorer in La Liga with a record 474 goals. Also, this record seems untouchable as Lionel Messi spent most of his time in Barcelona.
Now I believe this is what has placed Lionel Messi above the rest of the footballing giants. Let me gather the courage to say this because I believe I am about to spit what is a landmark piece of words in history. Lionel Messi is the only player to win a record eight Ballon d’Or honors. Mark my words no one will ever achieve this. The only player who comes close is his arch-rival Cristiano Ronaldo who has five Ballon d’Or to his name.
I just want to say we should appreciate the greatness while it is still around. We truly might never see this display of football genius in longevity ever again because it is only a matter of time before it is the end of an Era!