Although the debate is largely dead between who is better, or even who is the best in the world, Lionel Messi isn’t simply the best just because of what he does on the field.
Not to undercut what he does on the field by any means, but the truth is that Messi would be great for any organization in the professional football world due to his impact and humility off of the field.
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After winning his unprecedented fifth Balon d’Or award Messi put time aside to sit down with each of the captains from Barcelona’s youth program and talk about life, the struggles of growing up in La Maisa soccer academy, and how to make the most of the opportunity put before them.
“You are very lucky to be in a club like this” he told them. “This is a rare opportunity not only in football, but in life. Barça gives you the chance to study, to grow and to get an education.”
“I think it’s important for you took make the most of all this and then to enjoy your football and be as professional about it as you can.”
Messi’s years in the academy are well documented as a hard time in the young prodigy’s life due to having to leave his family, home, and everything he had ever known to pursue his chance at footballing greatness for Barcelona.
“It was hard for me because it was such a big change” he explains. “I left a lot behind in Argentina and unlike other children living at the Masia, I hardly ever got to visit my family. I only saw them once or twice a year and that was very hard for me.”
And as for being the greatest, and if he’s going to make a documentary about himself,
“Just to hear people saying and thinking that makes me very proud indeed. But I try not to think about it too much and just focus on enjoying everything that I have in this life.”
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So while even though it’s clear through the stats, trophies, highlights, appearances, and victories that Lionel Messi is a one-in-a-lifetime talent, what’s even more special about him is that he is one of the greatest ambassadors for the world’s game that has ever laced up the boots.