That’s the title of the YouTube video doing the rounds on Twitter recently, and it does exactly what it says on the tin. It’s a six and a half-minute montage of the best player in the world getting lumps kicked out of him and not once does he even think about going to ground.
It’s amazing how he actually stays on his feet after some of the wild tackles he endures and his ability to ride numerous challenges puts in me in mind of grainy footage of George Best in his prime. He’s totally focused on the ball. Messi’s sole intention is to advance toward the goal in the hope of scoring himself or creating a chance for a team-mate.
The more you watch it, you kind of get the feeling that the more people try to stop him by whatever means possible, the more he enjoys it. In some cases he teases his opponents before tying them in knots, punishing and embarrassing them for being unable to take him out at the first attempt. It’s beautiful, not just as an example of incredible skill and balance, but for highlighting the honesty and determination that are key factors in the make-up of the three-time Ballon d’Or winner.
To read the rest of Craig Easton’s column check out Issue One of FITBA coming out the end of this month….