‘Don’t write about him, don’t try to describe him. Just watch him’ – Pep Guardiola.
Looking at this signed boot, the image of his lightning fast reflexes, supreme dribbling and precise left foot come to mind. To describe the way Lionel Andrés Messi plays would be close to impossible; there simply aren’t enough words. However, life didn’t start out according to plan for him. During his time in the Newel’s Old Boys youth academy, Messi was diagnosed with a growth hormone deficiency. Many clubs, although interested in signing him, were not willing to pay the $900 per month needed to treat his condition, however, it was FC Barcelona who seized the opportunity to buy a player who would turn out to be one of the best players the game has ever seen. It didn’t take long for Messi to fit into the team; at just 17 years, ten months and seven days old, Messi became the youngest player to score in a La Liga match for Barcelona. From then on, only success followed, with four consecutive Ballon d’Or awards and countless other records, such as the most goals scored in a calendar year in Europe at 91, surpassing Gerd Muller’s 85. At just 25, Messi became Barcelona’s all-time top goalscorer, and his figures continue to rise, showing why so many see him as a player from another planet. Now, defenders are ironically defenseless; their attempts are simply futile against La Pulga.