Tuesday, 10 January 2012
Arse Near the Ground
So Barcelona's Lionel Messi has won world football's top accolade - FIFA's Ballon d'Or or Golden Boot - for three years in a row.
It's an old footballing saying that - 'a good big un will always beat a good litle un' - but the little Argentinian has stood that adage completely on its head.
Not only is Lionel Messi a supreme player - who can score with either foot and his head - the Barcelona maestro has a work ethic and temperament - to match his sublime skills on the ball.
Unlike some of his rivals he is not a prima donna - but a team player first and last - yet many of his fellow players in the Barcelona team are relatively short in stature as well.
When I played football regularly in the past - many years ago - a player like Messi would have been dismissed as a top flight player - for having his 'arse too near the ground'.
But that can also work to a player's advantage - by having a low centre of gravity - being hard to dislodge and read - in the same mould as another great Argentinian - Diego Maradona
The secret of Messi's success is that Barcelona rely upon talent - which the club nurtures from a young age - and an emphasis on passing the ball - sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly - while trying never to give possession away cheaply.
So I take my hat off to Lionel Messi - the little Argentinian is a giant of the modern game - and a true sportsman to boot.
Maybe there's hope for Scotland yet.