My favorite sport is football. The club that I support is – FC Barcelona. Lionel Messi is my favorite footballer. He is also my favorite sportsperson. This essay is dedicated to Lionel Messi.
Lionel Messi is a legend of the modern game. He is considered to be one of the greatest players of all time. Alongside Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi is widely regarded as one of the two best players of all time.
Coaches, pundits and teammates describe him as a ‘magician’ and ‘alien’. Yes, he managed to perform extraordinary things on the field. I’ve been playing football since my childhood. When I was a kid, my parents used to take me to the nearest park, where I’d kick a football around.
Since then, I’ve been in love with this game. Gradually, I started playing football with my friends and other kids in the neighborhood. Such was our love for the game that we even formed a local club. We would take part in neighborhood and local football matches and tournaments.
What I’m trying to say is that I’ve been a huge fan of football since my childhood. The game has played an important role in shaping up my childhood and character. For example, football has taught me the importance of health and physical conditioning. It has also taught me the importance of sportsmanship and respect.
Apart from playing football, I’m also interested in watching it. I follow many European leagues and international tournaments on TV and the internet. La Liga is my favorite domestic league and my favorite club is FC Barcelona.
I fell in love with this club due to one person – Lionel Messi. Whenever I’d tune into watch FC Barcelona in action, this special player would manage to grab my eyeballs (with his performance). Lionel Messi has always been a special player. At FC Barcelona, he is a true legend.
Let me list down some of his popular personal honors, recognition and awards. Here they are – Ballon d’Or (six times), European Golden Shoe (six times), FIFA World Player of the Year, La Liga Best Player (six times), Pichichi (eight times). These are some of his individual honors. If I try to list them all, it will take up more space and make the essay very long!
Okay, it is time to check out some of his team-honors and titles. Here they are – La Liga (ten times), Copa del Rey (seven times), Champions League (four times), FIFA Club World Cup (three times).
At club level, he has won all possible titles, cups and awards. His trophy cabinet and medal collection shows his true class. I believe that Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo play in a league of their own. These players constantly push each other and inspires them to do better each season.
For example, while Cristiano was playing for Real Madrid, he and Lionel Messi would break the fifty goals per season barrier consistently. In few seasons, Lionel Messi even broke the sixty goal per season barrier.
There exists a healthy rivalry between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. It is a well known fact that they have mutual-respect for each other. Okay, let us talk about his early life and career now. Lionel Messi was born in Rosario, Santa Fe, Argentina.
He belonged to a working middle class family. His father was a manager at steel factory and his mother worked in a magnet manufacturing unit. Lionel Messi started playing football at a very young age.
His elder brothers and cousins were passionate about football. As a child, Leo would often play football with his elder brothers and cousins. He showed signs of potential and this prompted his father to enroll him at local club Grandoli.
By the time he was six years old, Lionel Messi joined Newell’s Old Boys club. For the youth side his club, young Lionel Messi scored more than five hundred goals! At the age of ten, he was diagnosed with a growth hormone deficiency. The treatment was quite costly and Leo’s father couldn’t afford the entire cycle of growth hormone treatment.
His family was deeply worried by this condition. They asked the help of football clubs interested in signing Leo. Through his family members residing in Catalonia, Lionel Messi’s father managed to arrange a trial with FC Barcelona for young Leo.
Gradually, he completed the growth hormone treatment and became a crucial part of FC Barcelona’s youth side. Even at Barcelona’s youth academy, he shone. He was well known for his exceptional strike rate. At a very young age, he started getting offers from foreign clubs. But Lionel Messi chose to stay at FC Barcelona.
He rapidly progressed through the club’s ranks. He made his first team debut when he was sixteen years old. From 2005 season onward, he became a starting eleven player of the team. The rest, as they say, is history.
At FC Barcelona, Lionel Messi managed to impress his managers, coaches, fans, spectators as well as sports journalists. On the field, Lionel Messi is a versatile forward. At the early stages of his career, he was a right winger. In this position, he forged a strong partnership with the Brazilian wizard Ronaldinho and Cameroonian Samuel Eto’o.
He was well known for his amazing runs, passes, trickery and dribbles. He was a joy to watch. Well, it still is a joy to watch him play! At early stages of his career, Leo played without any burden. He was already surrounded by greats and legends (like Xavi, Iniesta, Puyol, Ronaldinho, Eto’o etc). This allowed him to thrive on the field.
By 2006, he established himself as one of the best players in the world. He became the most talented young footballer in the world. Despite his slender frame and size, he managed to trouble defenders. His pace, trickery and ability was too much for the defenders to handle.
I remember watching him play for the club in 2008. In that particular season, FC Barcelona won the treble. Lionel Messi played a crucial role in the match. Just one season and he made me his ardent fan! After getting an internet-enabled smart phone, I started watching his old videos and match-clips on the internet. This is how I came upon his solo goal against Getafe in the Copa del Rey semi-final. Man, that goal was absolutely breathtaking.
Since 2008, I have been closely following FC Barcelona and Lionel Messi. Since then, he has won various titles, trophies and individual honors with the club. And with the arrival of Cristiano in Spain, Lionel Messi’s game improved! Yes, his fierce competitor motivated him to enhance his game! They competed for titles and set many goal-scoring records in the process. This, according to me, was the golden period of Spanish club football.
As of now, he is still playing for FC Barcelona. At international level, he has represented Argentina in tournaments such as – The Olympics, World Cup and Copa America. With the Argentina team, he has won the 2021 edition of Copa America. Apart from that, he is also a World Cup runner-up (2014 edition) and Olympics Gold Medal winner (2008 Summer Olympics).
Finally, the unthinkable has happened. Recently, Lionel Messi announced that he will be leaving FC Barcelona. The announcement caused unrest among the fans of the club. Lionel Messi had been the best player for FC Barcelona for quite some time now. His departure will have a huge impact on the club. At the end of the day, football is not just about a single player. I hope that Barcelona will bounce back and get used to life without the great Messi.
FC Barcelona has a special place in Lionel Messi’s heart. He wanted to stay at the club. But the club’s financial constraints and some internal matters resulted in his departure. In his final speech at the club, Lionel couldn’t hide his emotions.
As of now, he has joined the French club PSG. Messi is one of the best players to play the modern game of football. He can easily walk into any top team in Europe! PSG has an ambitious project. Their determination is evident from the way they snapped up Lionel Messi.
Messi still has a lot to deliver on the field. And he will deliver for PSG now. With Messi in their team, the French club will have another attacking dimension on the field now. Now it is time for Messi to mesmerize the French league!
With time, Leo has made changes to his playing style. Growing old, he chose a creative attacking midfielder role. This allowed him to drop back, pick up the ball and dictate the flow of the game.
Lionel Messi has excelled for his country and club. On the field, he gives it his all. There’s no ‘in-between’ performance for him. He is a game changer. Single-handedly, this guy can change the direction of a game! For example, Messi’s marauding run down the field can result in a goal or an assist. Lionel Messi is supremely talented and gifted. But mere talent alone won’t let one excel at the highest level for such a long period of time. This is where hard work and determination comes in. Despite being so successful, Lionel Messi is humble. He is a family man and loves to lead a quiet and simple life.