Messi Business

Genius is as genius does. There’s no accounting for the genius of little Lionel.

Beating a guy and breaking out of the tackle, how do you do that?

Not burning a guy out wide when you’re running straight at him, pushing it ahead when he has to turn and you have the gazzz.

No, that’s the burn à la Theo or Ryan Giggs.  If only Walcott had the intelligence to go with the gazz, Engerland might have something else along with Wayne, and have a real chance in the slums this summer. I wonder will Nelson make an appearance and put on a Bafana Bafana shirt.

I’m reliably told that Agbonlahor is the fastest thing on legs in the premiership but that’s different when you’re in front of goals all the time.

No, I’m talking about beating a guy, one on one; close in, tight when there’s no space or time and its instinct and genius.  Oh God, your son has come back to earth and in his most beautiful incarnation yet, to play wherever the fuck he wants to in the Camp Nou.  It’s like when you hear a fella explain something difficult and make it understandable to you , like that stars guy Brian Cox did on BBC2 recently (used to sing with De Ream back when we were kings), well Brian brought the Cosmos nearer and got me thinking I finally understood time travel and light speed.

Talent folks – you can’t book-learn or coach it.

Lionel Messi, son of God and example to all sports people around.  Growth hormones do work, talent will win out in the end, Lionel – personification of genius – you and Brian make it look easy.

So how does he do it folks? How does he beat a guy, get beyond him with the ball at his toe leaving them all looking like me after the kids have wrecked my head and the blood pressure is sky rocketing and I’m an unhealthy scarlet? Deconstruct that someone please, break it down into its component parts and apply biological science and explain what the hell is going on there.

I’ve watched him, slow-motioned him, recorded him, frozen and played him back, over and over again and I can’t see it with my 20:20s. It appears as if he’s looking down, but he’s not. Looks as if his shoulder is moving which it’s not, as if his hip is going one way with him to follow, which he doesn’t.

You know when someone is falling (no, not in that “he had a fall” way, but gravitational falling, actual falling down), you watch them and you know when they’ve reached that tipping point, that point of no return. You know this because it has happened to you, with or without drink, when you stop trying not to and start protecting yourself from the impending sudden stop, hands flaying and legs akimbo, like a puppy trying to stop on a shiny linoleum floor. You know THAT falling thing?

Lionel doesn’t fall.

He should though, there is no earthly reason why he doesn’t and continues to stand up, defy belief, gravity and me. I like that in a football genius, the consistent denial of my limits.

And space, what’s this with the no-need-for-any? One of his goals against the Gooners came when closely surrounded by four flaffers, three of whom were trying to break his leg, the fourth had his arm around his neck, and from nowhere and like a bullet, the ball in the top corner of the net.

No major celebration, just “thanks lads, thanks Xavi for the exquisite pass five minutes ago, thanks Pedro for the run out wide, thanks lads”, his humility, in the face of choreographed dance moves and multiple baby cradlings is just that , humble.

So now Inter and the always entertaining José come to Barcelona, needing to do nothing other than stay ahead. What chance they’ll shrink into a defensive ball and sink?  The pitch appears much wider and Barca will attack from the off, in angelic waves of highly talented smaller people pinging the ball all over the park and making Italians tetchy and temperamental and penalty prone.

Two goals for little Lionel folks.

What chance?

23 thoughts on “Messi Business

  1. I don’t think they’ll do it Mr Sniffle, the centre of the Barca defence is dodgy, one goal for Internazionale and
    it’s all over.

  2. Pelotudo, Inter had the ball in the first leg, in the net, three times. There is a beauty to Barcelona and their offensive approach to the game as Mr Sniffle so eloquently points out. However, thereis a beauty, a terrible beauty Yeats might say, to defending properly also. Barca, in their quest to overturn the deficit, will leave holes and Mourhino and team are experienced enough to exploit them. Also, the Azzuri invented the defensive system Catenaccio (the bolted door) and they know how to hold onto a lead.

  3. True. Barca are fragile at the back. They are rarely seriously challenged in Spain. Most teams when they go to the Camp Nou just go with a formation to contain Barca, hoping to maybe get something on the break, and nothing else. I’m quite aware of Catenaccio and that Inter will play very low risk football,hitting Barca on the break but will do so more effectively and with a better standard of player.However I also think that Barca’s little busride to Milan because of the Icelandic Volcano ash attack might have affected their preparations. I felt that they didn’t seem completely on top of their game. If Barca are patient and don’t go all out from the beginning they are in with a good chance,this is what Cruyff was saying in one of the main Catalan newspapers. And if they get an early goal,well,it might help them calm their nerves. Although,the longer it goes with no goal for Barca I can see you being very correct

  4. Son of God?
    Every plonker that claimed that title got to meet him rather sooner than expected.
    I know he’s not claiming it but others doing it could have an undesirable effect. I won’t see the match unfortunately but having seen the first leg I am wondering if we both saw the same game. I watched it on a big screen and your idol Messi did sweet fuck-all the entire game.
    I know he has talent.
    I know you’re correct when you say he shows humility and stuff but, really; son of God?
    I think not.
    I believe that he simply does well what others cannot or will not.

  5. While he may not be as young and sexy as Messi, Arjen Robben will be the one Bayern Munich have to thank in a similar way, if they make it safely past Lyon tomorrow

  6. Seconds Out is in the driving seat to my mind round here about predictions. My own predictions are as accurate as my 1st touch of which we’ll say no more. So it’s Inter to progress despite my blessed heart pining for another lill Lionel hat trick.

    Monsieur Un, the sub-title on this post was “why soccer is better than rugby part II”. It was easy to just talk about Messi then, cause he is of the other, the talented. I’ll watch him for you this week and make you a convert.

    Senior Pelotudo, I believe with every fibre of my now vast body that you are correct and that Mr. Out is anti La Liga cause of the bad time he had with Deportivo. Soccer will be the winner – dear God almighty is there a better sporting spectacle currently then the three lads deconstructing the opposition.

    Herr frantheman , oh he’s good though, isn’t he? Special like. He shoulda joined United that time,

  7. The best thing about this game is that as neutrals we can just enjoy it, minus the nervous breakdown. I’m not too sure about Messi being the son of God, mainly because there are very few Argentinian virgins. However, he is the Messiah Mr Sniffle, he’ll cause trouble in the return leg.

  8. Neutral ! Neutral on THIS site! Surely you jest man?

    As for the scarcity of Argentian virgins, I will say nothing Maria , nothing babee , just you, me and the interweb babee.

  9. We haven’t factored in that the final will be played at the Bernabeau. the opportunity to win the trophy at the home of their arch rivals, Real Madrid, will be a massive incentive for Barcelona.

    Meantime, Lyon, they wouldn’t win the League of Ireland Premier Division, a brutal, clueless side.

  10. Last time I looked it was 3:0 to the Hun.

    If we’re to believe Grumpy, “ Useless Bill, you’d see better on a Sunday morning in the Park” .

    Your man with the Phantom of the Opera mask is cured now thank God, the lone ranger has retired.

    So, Barca’s hatred of all things Royal will win out again Inter.

    Fair nuff.

    Barca is the peasant who are the 3rd best paid team on the planet, after the Yankees and Lakers – I think.

    The Basque to ultimately win out against the MAN, the Nazi Munich or even, the fascist Berlusconi’s near neighbor Inter.


  11. Good catch gerryo – so much for my geography.

    Catenaccio – what an expert display – jeez, a choreographed suffocation with claustrophobic marking.

    The speed of the Inter back four was awesome in closing down Xavi and Messi when they attacked up the centre.
    “Bill,but they misused him when they went a man down, he should have played out wide”

    Easy to say looking back I suppose.

    We screamed in our gaff when the new kid scored and screamed louder when it was disallowed.

    Which it shouldn’t have been.- bitter, me?

    Mourihno schMourihno, – flim flam merchant – great tactician though.

    Excellent match.

    Monsieur Un can be righteously indignant should he choose to

  12. The dark arts of defending won it out. But where does that leave the game. Have you ever heard a anyone getting excited about a tackle, as opposed to someone
    evading a tackle and scoring. Imagine the headline in the papers.


    Who was the special one gesturing at after the game? I feel a ban coming on, conduct like that could provoke a riot.

  13. Bock, this is one of those cases where soccer holds up much better to close examination then everyone’s favourite game around here.

    Mr Out, you mentioned neutrality above and I think we were all neutral for Barca, well anyone who contributed here was.

    But there is a technical element in the Inter display which needs acknowledgement . The back four and the three or four in front of them moved together as if conjoined. When Barca pushed forward, which they did for 90% of the game, there was never any space save late on when fatigue took over.

    You’re correct though as to where does it leave the game when suffocating defence wins Look , Barca were the moral victors and in this country we know all about moral victories.

    Btw, thought there was a definite penalty not given in the 2nd half too. Bastard.

    It’s good though, isn’t it. The ebb and flow and the testing and the wondering and the wanting for the good guy to win out but life’s not like that. Double bastard.

    The pointy nosed Swede up front with the un-spellable name is not really there with the small lads.

  14. only saw bits of the game as was at work. just wonder were inter as defensive when they had 11 men on the pitch? i’ve never seen such an organised defence. in the last 10 minutes, inter seemed to be playing with a flat back 7, at times a perfect straight line. if the irish back 4 during the qualifiers played half as good as inters did tonight, we’d be going to south africa. we’d not have to had played against france either.
    not the prettiest game, but in time the only detail that will matter is that inter got to their first european final in 45 years. as far as mourinho is concerned its a case of job done. i expect to hear something really outlandish from him in the coming weeks leading up to the final. all the talk will be about what ever he says, not about the prospect of inter winning. now many might disagree with me, but i think thats his best skill. the ability to deflect attention, hype and pressure from his squad. i’m not expecting a classic final though.

  15. I agree gerryo. His teams take the field brimming with confidence, believing in their individual abilities and in the tactic he ordains for the team. He must be a brilliant motivator, one to one stuff making the player confident within them self, and deconstructing his opposite number .

    Couldn’t believe this evening when I heard that the Swedish un-spellable name up front for Barca was the 2nd highest player in the world after Christiannno. F.U.C.K.I.T.

  16. Catenaccio! I don’t think so. Catenaccio involved some counter-attacking. Inter showed absolutely zero ambition.
    They just kept booting the ball up the field, giving it back to Barca. As if to say “C’mon, let’s see how good ye are”. And as it turns out Barca couldn’t break them down. Which is kind of difficult when Inter had at least 7 outfield players behind the ball at all times.As a teamthey also worked very hard and closed down any space very quickly. I don’t think Inter can play as negatively in th final though because you do have to attack sometimes.
    What about those sore-losing Catalans turning on the sprinklers.:-)
    I know I wanted Barca to win because they play some wonderful football but living in Catalunya means you get sick of some people (think of the sunshine Munster supporters who are experts on rugby after 1 match and multiply by infinity) going on about exactly this, so part of me kind of wanted them to lose(only a small part), just enough to shut them up for a while.
    Anyway, it also meant I got some sleep last night. No car horns until dawn.
    Oh yeah, Christ above Ibrahimovich was rubbish.

  17. Hey, that’s a rap so (well for me ) – learnt about Catenaccio – excellent stuff– learnt about the Barca ground staff not being gracious in defeat – hilarious really, but doesn’t bode well for the game.

    Thought about combining Dimitar and Zlatan in a fantasy football team – thought better of it and chose Rip Van Winkle to partner a sloth instead- more verve and zest.

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