There’s not much to tell and show about Lionel Messi’s days in Argentina. He moved to Barcelona when he was 12, and, well, the rest is history. But from time to time, videos of a young Messi at differing ages does go up online, and creates mini-frenzy, showing the little wiz performing his magic against usually bigger youngsters.
Messi was born in Rosario, Argentina. Pretty soon he started playing for Newell’s, one of the two big clubs in the city. He already generated interest with River Plate, but after he was diagnosed with a growth hormone defiecency, the move to Buenos Aires failed. River couldn’t pay the medical bills. Barcelona, through the eyes of Carles Rexach, stepped in, and so Messi moved to Spain. The rest is history.
This year was another step in Messi’s long stride and conquest through the pages of history. It didn’t end with a league title or the Champions League, but Messi finished with a record 50 league goals; 72 in all competitions, and he still has the Copa Del Rey final to play. Breaking about every possible scoring record, including a five goal match against Leverkusen, the first in Champions League history.
What’s next? Is there anything next? He’ll be turning 25 in the summer. This is his peak. How long will it last? Two, three, four more years? It all began on poor and rotten grounds in Argentina, but Messi has evolved into a living legend for many people. Just as good as Cristiano Ronaldo, without the impressive physical features, but with something else that captures the hearts of football fans.
Greatest of all time? He’s doing things no one ever did, that’s for sure. Yes, he has a super talented group around him; yes, he needs to do better with Argentina. But the shift of power has made club football a much more central and important enterprise than national teams. Messi is the best among the best. I don’t think his lack of titles, down the line, with the Argentinian national team, should hurt his place in history.