Lionel Messi slaloming past three, four, five, six, seven or more players in full flow is one of the most beautiful sights in all of sport.
Regardless of whether or not you think Diego Maradona or Garrincha were better dribblers than the Paris Saint-Germain star, there’s no denying that he’s up there with the very best in history.
Even in an era where Messi is leaning back into more of a playmaking role, you can rest assured that he’s only ever a few games away from producing a jaw-dropping solo run.
Messi’s dribbling genius
Messi must feel like he has the ultimate ‘Get Out of Jail Free card’ in his ability to suddenly wiggle out of any and every situation on a football pitch with his world-beating dribbling skills.
And that’s even the case when those trying to stop Messi in his tracks resort to some of the more, erm, illegal ways of tackling in the beautiful game.
Let’s face it, there isn’t a tactic that defenders haven’t tried in their attempts to stop Messi from dribbling past them, making them look like a mug and scoring one of the greatest goals of all time.
A quick search on YouTube will throw up countless examples of Messi having his ankle crunched, shirt pulled and shins smashed in wild attempts to prevent him from continuing on his war path.
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Messi out-dribbling players on the floor
However, you only have to ask Uruguay to know that even the most physical and combative methods of bringing down Messi don’t always stop him from going about his business.
And we say that because Messi produced one of his greatest ever dribbles for Argentina against their South American rivals back in 2019 in a clip that has once again gone viral on social media.
The Barcelona legend astonishingly showed that he can even out-dribble Uruguay when he’s on the ground, continuing his stunning individual run despite having to get back on his feet.
Even two years on, it’s no wonder that it continues to gain traction on Twitter because it truly is magical stuff from Messi, so be sure to relive his electric escapology in the video down below:
Messi still needs to explain how he did this😂pic.twitter.com/ovhDXaiMZM— Akshat (@Mysticalleo_) May 21, 2022
Wowsers. Messi would’t lose possession if he was locked in a phone box with Virgil van Dijk and Ruben Dias while wearing ankle cuffs.
Messi: Football’s escapologist
Ok, maybe we’re exaggerating, but Messi’s iconic Uruguay run is such that we like to christen it ‘the assault course dribble’ because of the way he traverses several levels and obstacles.
You can’t help watching the footage and thinking that Messi is facing the footballing equivalent of ‘Total Wipeout’, battling on despite having this, that, the other and the kitchen sink thrown at him.
And that’s arguably the biggest indicator of a world-class dribbler because it’s one thing to show the close control of Messi and another thing to be able to achieved that under intense pressure.