No one knows better about the fear that strikers strike into the hearts of players than the very players who are challenged – the defenders. When the talent in question is that of Lionel Messi, then nothing is left to be said at all.
Despite seeming to be on the cusp of parting with his prime years, the Argentine striker is relentless in his approach, and his talents with the football are still an ever remarkable sight.
Speaking to Guardian about a recent training incident, the Belgian revealed: “It’s unbelievable. If you gamble that Messi’s going to go one way, then he’ll go the other. You would think that he does it in games but he does it day-in-day-out in training, that’s what amazes me.
“When he comes at you on the diagonal at the speed he moves, it’s very difficult to defend. You might know he’s probably going to shoot off his left foot but he’s always quicker. And he can play in that No 10 position too, with defenders at his back, and play assists.”
The versatility of the 30-year-old isn’t the only thing that caught his eyes, as he continued: “It’s pure talent. It all comes naturally to him. Probably for him, it doesn’t feel special, but for us, it looks very special. He just does it and gets on with his job. He doesn’t get too emotionally involved with players tackling him.
“There are moments you see him do something and you just laugh. Even on the bench during a game you laugh when you see what he’s doing; the same as you are at home on your sofa.”
A grand era of football is being cherished at the moment, with the kinds of Messi and Ronaldo playing week in and week out in simply remarkable form, and anecdotes such as these are hints that this might go on for at least a few more years.