Football is an euphoric experience filled with ups and downs at every point. Display of beautiful skills, teamwork, focus, and mutual respect sets the sport apart from the rest.
Naturally, it also comes with a rather violent side; after all, it’s 22 grown men on an adrenaline rush on the pitch. But how one handles such situations is what earns them jeers or respect from the supporters, and in the case of Lionel Messi, it’s definitely the latter.
The Argentine’s ability to handle tense situation is quite remarkable, as he is a prime target for defenders to take care of.
But along with respect and admiration from the fans, Messi earned the respect of former teammate Thierry Henry, whose interesting story regarding the La Masia graduate’s reaction to an unfair situation on the pitch back in 2009 was mentioned in Rio Ferdinand’s autobiography.
When the Barcelona coach refused to award the Argentina international’s training squad a freekick for a foul on his teammate, according to Henry, this is what happened:
“So when the ball went back to his goalkeeper, he (Messi) ran back and demanded the ball. The goalkeeper rolled him the ball, and Messi then proceeded to run through the entire team and score in anger.”
Many players more than often end up being unable to restrain their frustration on the pitch, which unfortunately could and probably would get close to violence. But the Barca talisman is an example not only as a brilliant footballer, but also as a person.
Moreover, doing what the 30-year-old did against legends of the game such as Carles Puyol, Yaya Toure, Sergio Busquets and many more, not only showed his quality, but also earned him admiration from the Arsenal legend.
Simply Lionel Messi.