Body feints, quick feet, slaloming past half a dozen defenders, pin-point passes, top bin free kicks, and ice-cold finishes, you already know who we are talking about today, the little boy from Rosario, Lionel Messi.
The Argentine star lived his dream less than a month ago, a feat he called ‘magic’, he won the trophy that had eluded him for so long and etched his name in the history books as the Greatest of all Time.
But today we won’t talk about his magic, we are going to talk about his alleged ‘laziness’. How can a player who has achieved so much be lazy? Is it possible? His critics surely think that he is, but why? Lionel Messi has time and again been accused of walking casually in games and not tracking back enough to help his defense.
Let’s now take a look at a Twitter thread that caught the eye a year back and slammed Messi’s critics, this thread goes deep inside Messi’s gameplay and talks about why he walks around casually during the game.
Been watching Messi vids since he signed a 2yr deal to play with Paris St. Germain (up to $75m/year).
Messi is known for walking leisurely on the pitch. Many think it’s to conserve energy. There’s a more strategic reason and it’s the epitome of “work smart, not hard.”
— Trung Phan (@TrungTPhan) August 19, 2021
This thread has very neatly broken down the brains and the tactics behind Messi walking in games. We have to understand that Lionel Messi is one of a kind, his soccer brain is much ahead of any of his contemporaries, he is always a step ahead and he has proved it yet again by making his criticism turn into absolute appreciation, he is literally having ‘a walk in the park’ and yet influencing and winning games for his teams.
Pep Guardiola, the current manager of English giants, Manchester City had something to say about Messi’s alleged laziness.
What does Pep Guardiola say about Messi?
No matter how ultra-fast and modern soccer gets, it will always have room for Lionel Messi and even the greatest mind behind ‘ultra press’, Pep Guardiola is on the same page. In his autobiography, Pep wrote: “He spends his match walking, he’s always analyzing the situation”. In one of his interviews per SportBible, Pep called Messi a computer who is always walking and creating a map of the opposition players in his head.
It is time for everybody to accept the genius of Lionel Messi, no matter who you support, if you love soccer, you have to love him for what he brings to the game. He makes soccer look so easy and very easily managed to turn this huge criticism of his into a tactical masterclass.