A great player producing a great performance against great opposition at the vital moment in an elite competitionThe Guardian on Messi’s Champions League Semi-Finals performance against Bayern Munich

“Messi is unstoppable’’ was all Pep Guardiola could say after last night’s game.

Mr MESSI is back (has been back for a while now actually) and has been declared the Undisputed Greatest Football Player in the World. Should we have expected anything less?

MESSI is an embodiment of GRACE; ENGRACED and he is so GRACEFUL in everything he does on and off the pitch Although he struggled last year against Mr Race (Ronaldo), Mr Grace (Messi) has been quite untouchable this year.

In the battle between Race and Grace before the Ballon d’Or ceremony, Ronaldo beat Messi in goals (33 to 25), goals per game (1.18 to 1), minutes per goal (70.94 to 87.24), shots (119 to 96), minutes-per-goal involvement (52.02 to 58.95) and they had 12 assists apiece in all competitions.

Mr Race

Messi sat there in Zurich, to the left of Ronaldo, and gritted his teeth afterwards as he congratulated the man that won with 37.66 per cent of the vote for his third Ballon d’Or. Deservedly so too because of sheer Dedication, Commitment and Hard Work from Ronaldo.

This was all the wake-up call the 4 time Ballon d’Or winner needed as he sat there in Zurich. Messi who many have said had been depending only on his gift and grace, now knows that even GRACE needs to work harder and be more committed to be and remain the best.

The debate now is not whether Messi is the best player in the world right now, it is that Messi might just be the best player there has ever been in the world.

Messi effortlessly makes the extraordinary look ordinary (Boateng can attest to that); isn’t that exactly what GRACE means? His consistent astonishingly brilliant performance is second to none, week in week out he scores brilliant goals. His game is further evolving as he sits back to create incredible chances for his team mates (Suarez and Neymar) to score more goals.

In 2012, Messi scored 90 goals at a rate of a goal every 4.1 days, and also provided 29 assists. MESSI scored 50 league goals last season and has been top scorer in the Champions League for four seasons in a row, twice scoring in the final.

Carlos Bilardo, who coached Diego Maradona in 1986, says Messi has an extra bone in his ankle: “The ball”, It never seems to leave his foot”

“I don’t think we’ll ever see a player like him again,” late Barcelona manager, Tito Vilanova.

Gerard Piqué insists that there is no point in counting him as human: he is, instead, an “extra-terrestrial”.

“I don’t want to even compare anyone else to him,” Xavi Hernández once said “Because it’s not fair – on them.”

Mr GraceThis grace also adds up financially as Messi was declared in January as the most expensive player in the world according to CNN; Mr GRACE (Messi) is estimated to be worth $262 million while Mr Race (Ronaldo), is some distance behind with an estimated transfer fee of $158 million.

Messi now earns approximately £1 million weekly. He earned approximately £47.8 million in 2014 in endorsements and with his club salary adding £26 million to his total earnings, putting him far ahead of his closest rival Cristiano Ronaldo with £39.9 million in 2014.

So, decide for yourself; in the career field you are in: who do you want to be and which do you think will take you to your highest BEING? Mr(Ms.) Race or Mr(Ms.) Grace?

Pep Guardiola says to appreciate MESSI; “Don’t write about him, watch him”… We will be watching you Messi – getting entertained and learning in the process as we enjoy  your artistry.


The Catalyst, Lanre Olusola