Home Sports Lionel Messi turns 35: the player who was able to transform himself to stay at the top and still has a lot of football to give

Lionel Messi turns 35: the player who was able to transform himself to stay at the top and still has a lot of football to give

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Lionel Messi turns 35: the player who was able to transform himself to stay at the top and still has a lot of football to give

Lionel Messi turns 35: the player who was able to transform himself to stay at the top and still has a lot of football to give

Messi and his love for the Argentine national team over the years. Photo: Clarin.

Lionel Messi turns 35 under the Ibizan sun and the great news is that he still has a lot of football to give. Technological advances, extreme personal care and the overprofessionalization of sport are some of the reasons to understand why players’ careers get longer. But in Messi there is another visible and admirable virtue: he was able to transform himself from a footballer to remain at the top. From a skilled winger he became a serial scorer and from there an assistant with head and foot hooked. The validity of Messi is understood, among other things, by his intelligence to understand the ideal moment for change.

Messi’s metamorphosis didn’t happen one morning and after a restless dream, like that of Gregorio Samsa, but rather it was the product of the inexorable passage of time. And, he repeats, it was possible thanks to his great intelligence. Lionel has been compared, is compared and will be compared to Diego Armando Maradona. That’s right. But Messi, like Diego, is so great as a footballer that many of the players who have delighted the Argentines over the years live with him – in them -.

And it is that the extreme Messi had things by René Orlando Houseman, Oreste Osmar Corbatta and Ariel Arnaldo Ortega; serial marker Messi had the same convictions as Martín Palermo, Arsenio Erico, Ángel Labruna and José Sanfilippo; and the now thinking Messi has the clairvoyance that Juan Román Riquelme, Ricardo Enrique Bochini and Norberto Alonso knew how to manage. Don’t be alarmed: the list of players is capricious and you could add an infinite number of personalities.

Maradona is not the only mirror of a multifaceted Messi.  Photo: Reuters

Maradona is not the only mirror of a multifaceted Messi. Photo: Reuters

“The Messi of the past needed midfielders to play, the Messi of today needs the forwards”. The phrase corresponds to Adrián Maladesky, journalist of this house, and perfectly describes Rosario’s transformation. Leo He went from being a finishing player to a manager. His numbers in the first season at Paris Saint Germain support his words: 11 goals and 14 assists in 33 games. A peculiarity: for the first time in his career he ended a season at club level with more assists than goals.

The first time Messi dazzled the world as a right winger was on August 24, 2005 against Juventus, for the Joan Gamper trophy. On that day, the 90,000 spectators who filled the Camp Nou witnessed the birth of a legend. What the Rosario did (he was 18) for the band was so brutal that the Italian Fabio Capello, coach of the old lady, did not hesitate to jump off the substitutes ‘bench in the 20’ of the first half to face Dutch coach Frank Rijkaard. “Can you lend me that boy for Juventus?“Capello told him between laughs. “I had never seen a young man with such quality and personality in such an important jersey.”he later confessed.

The extreme Messi, the one who played against Juventus in the Gamper Cup on August 26, 2005. Photo: EFE

The extreme Messi, the one who played against Juventus in the Gamper Cup on August 26, 2005. Photo: EFE

The extreme Messi was a tireless dribbler, capable of leaving everyone in front of him on the street at an impossible speed. It had other milestones like Ali: On February 22, 2005, he was a figure in Barcelona’s 2-1 win against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in the first leg of the Champions League round of 16 and on March 11, 2007, he scored a hat-trick against Real Madrid in a 3- 3 for the local championship against a packed Camp Nou that gave Rosario a unanimous and resounding ovation for the first time. On both occasions he formed a trident with Ronaldinho and Eto’o.

The story of Messi as false 9 and the relentless marker is known: it was Pep Guardiola who put him there in the 6-2 win over Real Madrid at the Bernabéu. It happened on May 2, 2009. In the following years, Rosario crack got tired of breaking records with goals of all colors.

On May 2, 2009, the day Messi was born as a fake 9 and a scorer.  Photo: AFP

On May 2, 2009, the day Messi was born as a fake 9 and a scorer. Photo: AFP

Messi’s latest change has deepened at PSG, although it began to take shape when Luis Suárez arrived at Barcelona to take the place of the center forward, in July 2014. Leo He moved a little to the right and from there he attended the gunslinger. But Rosario never lost his goal-setting ambition and kept breaking nets.

This latest French-scented Messi is a typical snag, beyond the fact that it does not move all over the playing field. The Flea he always starts lying on the right sector, even if now he starts closer to his interior than to the rival part. From there he launches for the great Mbappé. Midfielders also often finish their games in front of him. It is likely that everything Messi knows now he learned from Andrés Iniesta and Xavi. Because in addition to assisting, he usually manages the pace of his team’s plays and knows how and where to move.

What happens with Messi in the national team? Coach Lionel Scaloni usually places him as a second striker to accompany Lautaro Martínez. It is true that Leo it has lost speed and power for one on one, but the quality and effectiveness to define remain intact. At times it goes down a few meters to connect with De Paul and Paredes and Di María and Lo Celso free themselves. So at the Scaloneta the scoring Messi coexists with the aggressive Messi.

Messi, defined as a hitch in PSG and in the national team.  Photo: AFP

Messi, defined as a hitch in PSG and in the national team. Photo: AFP

Messi turns 35 and his football does not age. Rosario has the virtue of change and that is why he is still on top of the world. From outside to marker and from marker to hitchhiking. The next step could be from hooking up to the midfielder. Or commit to what he wants because he can do anything. Messi is birthday and football celebrates it. Health!

Source: Clarin

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