At 26 years old, with the world at his feet, playing for one of the most glamorous clubs in the World and being adored by millions, Messi has the world right on his doorstep.
But even with all this in mind, comparisons are aplenty until the word Maradona appears and then that will send shivers down the spine and probably send him back to his shell.
Maradona, Argentina and the World Cup are in seperable. Maradona led Argentina single handed to a World Cup triumph in 1986 when he was the only star… all the rest were average. But even in a conversation amongst fellow argentines, it is impossible for Lionel Messi to escape the oppressiveness of that daunting shadow of Maradona which is stuck in everyone’s head.
Lionel Messi won the Ballon D’Or three times, and has been the best player in the world for approximately five years, terrorising defences, but even that is still not enough for the fans who still adore and revere Maradona.
On the social networks there was an iconic picture of Maradona who is seen snorting cocaine along the lines of the penalty area. This is an exceptional piece of art which in reality mirrors the nation’s feelings when it comes to Maradona. In simpler terms, Maradona was addicted to cocaine and the nation is addicted to him.
Right now, Messi is still “work in progress”, and at 26 years of age, he sis still developing his smartness, intelligence and skills on the football pitch. He’s face-to-face with his best chance of a lifetime to live for a generation to paint his name on city walls, undergrounds, trains and buses and small human traits stripped away, replaced by a myth.
The author would like to dedicate this article to Sacha Sclivagnotis.