Lionel Messi: A story of greatness

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We have all grown up spectating the perplexing magic, the extraordinary talents and the lightning speed that embodies every soccer-star, but we all would certainly like, out of natural curiosity, to have a glance behind the covers of the grand stage.

It is indeed out of mere curiosity that football’s most ardent fanatics will be itching to explore the lifestyles of their adulated idols and the endeavours that lies behind their great successes. And aiming to meet the demands of the public, the football press has made it their priority to bring into light, the lives of soccer’s most celebrated icons.

But with its irritating reputation, the ever-persistent press has become so much of a nightmare for celebrities around the world that many frustrated footballers are prepared to pay millions just to escape from that attention.

However unfortunately for them, that’s the price one have to pay for being a superstar.

Football journalists around the world have been fighting tooth and nail for quite some time now, to uncover the frenzy lives of those eminent soccer-stars beyond the stadiums that plays host to their magical feet.

And these twisting tales of glitz and glamour flowing out of the mighty media has been the defining factors behind the stage, carving the landscape of world football.

As the world ever more difficult for us all , the glorious shows on the pitch aren’t the only thing that footballers should pay heed to, for their personal prospects too need some sorting out.

Even in football, which only decades back was nothing more than a contest of elite talents, ‘impression’ and ‘image’ has become a far more imposing factor in the game than one could possibly imagine.

Quite surprisingly, a stunning demonstration of this  lies carved right along football’s most prestigious honour, the famed FIFA Ballon d’Or. 

Ever since its foundation, FIFA has always insisted this dream accolade to be an honour preserved for none other than the world’s very best. However, the Argentine’s claim to the all of the previous four editions of the award has raised many suspecting eyebrows and many are questioning what one exactly needs to carve his name into the Golden trophy .

Many say that the Ballon d’Or is not, as aforementioned, a contest of talent and skill, but rather of popularity, fame and reputation in the world of football. And in fact most
consider the reasoning to be perfectly true because it seems to be the only sensible theory so far that flawlessly explains the recent history of Ballon d’Or nominations.

There is no shadow of doubt upon the fact that Lionel Messi is one of the greatest of footballers, if not the greatest to have ever graced the game. And none can deny that the last four years was the peaking prime of his glorious career, the carving of a golden era, donned with achievements that lies, to this day unparalleled in history.

But when discussing football debates may arise even in the most certain of situations. Thus not so surprisingly, many as gone on to question what has indeed led Messi to four consecutive Ballon D’or triumphs, a berth accomplished by none other than Argentine himself.

The prime reason for being awarded this finely-crafted trophy of pure gold is the Argentine’s natural habit of scoring, the same hobby that has carved down his great name upon the face of history with mark of distinction, defiance and greatness

But even his most ardent fan knows deep within that his footballing skills aren’t the only motivation that has tempted the world to vote for the Argentine's cause. It is, as a matter of fact perfectly true that the Barcelona forward’s humbleness, humility and flawless character has proven to be the cutting edge in many major breakthroughs throughout his career.

Similarly, the influence of his flawless character can also be seen as a reason behind his Ballon d’Or triumphs (it is noteworthy to remind that  the winner of the award is not determined by analytical debates and instead by votes, only making it more likely) .

So lets take an insight into this great man’s character, one with the power to guide millions of swinging vote in his own favour and finally go on to triumph before the

From the game’s former legends to the footballers that entertain us everyday to a new millennial generation of soccer admirers , we have all known Messi as the greatest of footballers.

Needless to mention, the unmatched quality of the Barcelona talisman, has proven undeniable in its own right and his great potentials surely knows no bounds. But many may ask what has, apart from his performances on the pitch, made the Rosario native, the God of football, and better than his La Liga rival, Cristiano Ronaldo.

With already four Golden Balls entitled to his glorified name, the Argentine phenom, Lionel Messi has been in impeccable form at recent times as he aims to cement his name as one of the greatest if not the greatest, in football history.

But it is not just those 90 minutes on the pitch that deserves praise from both friends and foes alike, but his life off the pitch has also been the the subject of endless
praise and glorification.

It all goes back 13 years  from now, when a shy Argentine, fascinated with his new life in Spain, scribbled down his now famous name on a worn-out napkin, binding a commitment with Barcelona, which to this very day remains unscathed.

In fact ,it is the bottle-green turf of Barcelona’s infamous La Masia youth academy where the diminutive Argentine made his name and fame, but there is more to the Barcelona forward than the just dazzling performances he so vividly displays on the pitch.

With lightning speed and pin-point accuracy, it is the mesmerizing magic of the 26-year that has dubbed him as one of the greatest footballers ever to grace the game.

When one says Messi, most of us would visualize a humble and rather innocent-looking gentleman, draped in the blue-and-red stripes of the Barcelona jersey and dribbling past feeble defenders with a ball glued to his feet.

Hailing from the dusty suburbs of Rosario, Lionel Messi was an extraordinary gift to a very ordinary family. Born to a steel factory worker and a part-time cleaner, Lionel Messi’s sudden rise to fame at Barcelona did not deprive him of his own character and integrity.

The Barcelona forward has always been considered ‘humble’ both on and off the pitch, a distinguishing quality ,besides his footballing talents, that puts the 26-year old ahead in comparison to his Portuguese arch-rival, Cristiano Ronaldo.

The four-time Ballon d’Or winner can also keep a very calm head even in the most intense of situations.

And one would have to itch his head and ponder for memories of when Messi has lost his temper, for such occasions are very rare indeed. In spite of his undisputed greatness in world football, Lionel Messi has always maintained his humble nature, never giving off any signs of pride or vanity. And when the volatile number 10 strikes a ball home, something that we all have been witnessing time and time again, he famously points at the star-studded night sky above, gesturing his modesty and humility to God, the Bestower.

In spite of shattering momentous records and hitting new heights in world football, the Barca wizard has always made his team, of the utmost priority and considers himself to be like any other.

As he approaches the  prime of career, the Argentine captain is set to rejoice the pinnacle of his powers under the spotlight of world and media attention but his unprecedented popularity did not tempt 26-year old to forget where the it has all begun.

Back in his homeland in the suburban town of Rosario, the Argentine had made generous donations to the age-old, run-down school he once attended, for it was there that his rags-to-riches story all began.

Messi's  influential character and inspiring integrity has impressed both the world as a whole. And many who has worked besides the Argentine, including  Barcelona's former head coach Pep Guardiola has revealed that  have all been immensely impressed by the Rosario man's  exceptional morals and outstanding discipline.  

Since his astounding rise to superstardom in the world of football, Lionel Messi has engaged himself in countless works of charity contributing to welfare of helpless children.

However, Messi always proves to be special, in one way or the other. Unlike most soccer-stars, money is not the only contribution that the Barcelona number 10 has granted for charity.

Throughout his productive years at Barcelona, the 26-year-old has been spending his precious time with soccer-obsessed children – gifting them the experience of a lifetime ; something that most football idols won’t even bother to think about.

The Leo Messi Foundation, organised on the behalf of the Barcelona luminary, has been helping passionate young footballers turn their lofty aspirations into vibrant achievements. The Rosario native has also sent  invaluable aids to the war-plagued nations of Palestine and Syria, committed to rebuilding the run-down cities anew from its ashes.

When taking these acts of generosity into account, the Barcelona wonderkid certainly deserves the influential position that he holds in the world today as UNICEF's goodwill ambassador.

In fact, multi-million dollar donations from the Barcelona star have become so common over the past years that barely anybody takes notice. And there is indubitably nothing more that the world expects from the soccer’s greatest pride.

But the greatest blow to Messi’s venerable reputation and prestige in world
football came as recently as a few months ago. Quite astonishingly for many , Messi, who has been praised throughout his career at Camp Nou as a footballer of great integrity and discipline, was accused with charges of tax evasion.

Reports suggest that Lionel Messi and his father Jorge Horacio Messi had avoided taxes summing up to €5million.

Both the Barcelona forward and his father had gone on to deny these accusations, claiming the due amounts of taxes were regularly paid on time and that lawyers were appointed to manage these financial issues.

Consequently, the 4 times Golden Ball winner was summoned to a Spanish court a few months ago to testify on the charges.

The tax-fraud dilemma still remains an disillusioning mystery for us all but it seems  very unlikely that the soccer icon who earns a staggering sum of 16 million euros a year would deliberately avoid taxes just to diminish his innocent perception.

On the other hand, given the financial economic crisis in Spain, it may just be the case that the Spanish authorities are circulating fake rumours to prise away as much money as they can from the Argentina native.

The pending verdict, whatever it may be remains in the hands of destiny to decide. But shall it point out against the prolific forward, then the once saint-like image of Argentine may disappear forever from the annals of football history.

Messi has, for long served as a luminary of motivation and encouragement for football enthusiasts around the world, and had proven to be the idol that everyone dreams of replicating. Surely there are no words to describe the magnificence beheld when witnessing the fabled magic of the Argentine.

Those twirling feet and incredible speed has brought untold joys to millions lighting up the wold of football. Messi, who has been scoring goals for fun in Europe’s top flight is unlikely to be hampered by any setback  off the pitch as the Argentine continues to demonstrate his fine form.

Messi might have won all the last four Ballon d'Ors ,  but this time around things aren't quite the same as before. As for Messi, it certainly would be harder than he has ever imagined.

With the long-awaited Ballon d'Or ceremony looming even closer, and the Barcelona forward side-lined until January , the odds are certainly against the Argentine. But should he preserve his saint-like perception before the courts of the world, then a fifth Ballon D’or might be lucky enough  to find a place in his trophy-laden cabinet. 

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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