The magician from Rosario – The story of Lionel Andres Messi

The Flea

Lionel Andres Messi. If you don’t know who he is, you don’t deserve to browse this website. Nor do you deserve to watch football. Anyway, if you’re still reading, he plays for FC Barcelona. He’s their talisman, their boy wonder, he’s the apple of their eye and so on and so forth.

But is he really that good?
In one word, Yes.
Lionel Messi isn’t a conventional player, he doesn’t look too big. And that’s because he isn’t. He’s a timid little character whose feet whiz about at around a million miles an hour, entrancing defenders with the combination of Blaugrana socks, Yellow boots and black and white ball. And then, before you blink, whoop, there he goes. There’s a reason they call him ‘The Flea’. He’s fast, he’s small, and if you hold him too much, he’ll die or fall over in football terms (carried away with the analogies there).

Messi has always had an amazing skill set for someone who looks so different than most people’s idea of a  typical footballer. Europe’s best have always been big, strong men who have commandeered the pitch and have a presence to behold on and off it. Not this little guy. He’s the David to every footballing Goliath. A pair of sunglasses, jeans and a t-shirt without a Barca logo and Messi is ‘just another boy’. But, only, he isn’t.

One of our generation’s greatest footballers, Lionel Andres Messi is only 25. Twenty-five?? Heck, my brother is older than that!! By three years at that!! And look at the difference!! Messi is a multi-millionare magician of a footballer and he’s regarded as the World’s Best by some of the world’s best. How did it all happen?? Where can one begin? Will it ever end??

The story of Messi is intriguing. He was born in Argentina, and grew up playing football for Newell’s Old Boys. However, a deficiency in a critical hormone made Messi’s progress crawl, and the kid from Rosario had two options: Give up, or move to Europe. His grandmother drained all her life savings sending the little flea to Spain. There he had a trial with Barcelona, and was immediately accepted. Barca paid for his hormone treatments, and he progressed through the ranks – building a legacy in even the Youth ranks as a player to watch out for.

And then, on the fateful night of November the 16th, 2003, the inevitable happened. A small, timid, shy boy from Rosario, aged sixteen, stepped out onto the stage. It was the first time that Messi played for the senior FC Barcelona squad, and it was a proud moment for all to see the little maestro step out. The rest as they say, is history.

A history that Lionel Messi is still creating. With 253 goals to his name for FC Barcelona, a fierce loyalty towards the club (so much so, some Argentines think he’s more Catalan than Argentine) and a belief in his own skills and abilities and the best years of his career ahead of him.

Dhaval Malnika

Manchester United fan. Electronics Engineer. Masters student at University of Colorado at Boulder. Associated with Football Paradise since its inception. No non-sense center back in love with the beautiful game.