- Sports and Recreation
A Sporting miracle- Lionel Messi at Nou Camp
The greatest player in the world
Last year I watched a sporting miracle unfold as Barcelona Football Club played Real Betis at their home stadium called Nou Camp. Barcelona had suffered the humiliation of being trounced at home by Bayern Munich in the Champions league by three goals to nil the previous Wednesday. They seemed like a team that had lost its ability to play at the high level they were used to and had made them probably the greatest club in football at present. Everyone who supports this talented football club must have been in shock and disbelief.
Of course Messi had been missing as he was recovering from a right hamstring muscle strain, but could one player make such a difference? The answer arrived on the field shortly after half time at the Nou Camp -Yes one player could!
Until that moment when Messi ran onto the field Barcelona had been battling on bravely against their determined opponents. Betis scored first within seconds of the start and eventually Barcelona replied. The same with second goals and with the scores at two all Lionel Messi entered the arena. The crowd of 90 000 football fans, and I don’t know how many watching on T.V., somehow knew that something special might just happen and they were not disappointed.
A team that seemed to be running on empty with uncharacteristic poor passing and marking suddenly came alive. It was amazing to watch. It was like the advert for a certain kind of battery. When the better batteries were put into the toy it began to work at full pace where previously it could hardly move.
Real Betis were now under pressure and within 25 minutes Messi scored two great goals to bring his total for the season for Barcelona to an amazing 60, with 46 in the La Liga. There is no doubt in my mind that I had watched a sporting miracle take place. Here was the greatest player in the “Beautiful Game” in action as he brought his team to life and added two great goals to his imposing and record breaking tally.
In my lifetime I have been fortunate enough to watch the greats of football, if not in person but then on film and television. Last night on T.V. I watched in amazement as one the best player of the present and perhaps even in the history of the game changed a game in moments. His presence and brilliance energized the crowd and certainly the team.
The almost 80 000 people at Nou Camp last night and millions watching on T.V. around the world would perhaps agree with me.
Not everyone knows the story behind this pocket magician who can create goals out of nowhere in spite of his small size. Born in Rosaria, Argentina to Jorge Messi, a factory steel worker, and his mother, a part time cleaner, he started playing soccer at age 5 at the club his father coached. At 11 he was diagnosed to have a growth hormone deficiency that would cost $900 a month to treat.
By this time he had moved to a new club with a youth team that was undefeated for 4 years. River Plate a local professional football club was interested in the young Messi but would not pay for the treatment. FC Barcelona were informed about this young rising star by some of the family living in Spain and he was invited to a trial at the club. He was immediately offered a contract written on a paper napkin by the powers to be in FC Barcelona,provided his father also moved to Barcelona..
Messi and his father made the move and the club started the hormonal treatment that he needed and he started training with the Youth Academy. On 27th September 2014 at the age of 27 he scored his 400th professional goal and last week he was chosen by Ronaldo, as a part of his "all time world team", an honor that he undoubtedly deserves. Either Messi or Ronaldo have in the past couple of years won the prestigious "Footballer of the year award" and the debate continues as to who is the greater striker and footballer.
As their rivalry in the Spanish "la liga" continues it will be interesting to see who comes out on top. Messi as the Argentinian captain and Ronaldo as the star Portuguese player have yet to be part of a world cup winning team and it is something both of them dream about. Meanwhile we will continue to watch them competing and weaving their magic in the Spanish and Champions league. It is however the amazing story of a young boy from Rosario,Argentina who excites my imagination.
Source - Wikipedea