Here is why Lionel Messi has ignored the ball for the first few minutes of a game, and he will continue to do so.
Lionel Messi is perhaps the best player to have played the game of football. The Argentine International has shattered plenty of records over the last decade and he has not put a full stop to his hunger as he craves to achieve even more in his phenomenal career.
There is an interesting methodology the five Ballon d’Or follows by ignoring the ball for the first few minutes of the game as claimed by his manager Ernesto Valverde. In a great feature on how Barcelona are preparing for the future of football, the 55-year-old describes how many players of his “interpret play.”
ON THIS DAY: In 2006, Lionel Messi scored his first international goal for Argentina in a last-minute 3-2 defeat to Croatia.
🇦🇷 125 games
⚽️ 65 goals
La Albicelestes’ record goalscorer. pic.twitter.com/KhERWmS7RL
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) March 1, 2019
When players lose their focus during the early stages of the game, the Spaniard used to yell at the whole team that “You can’t think, you must play”, but Lionel Messi is truly an exception during the opening minutes, as interpreted in Financial Times.
Barcelona’s number 10 likes to grow into the game by completely spurning the first few minute of the match. It is elucidated that he hires the first few minutes to read defenders’ mind by walking around them by completely ignoring the ball.
By having a glimpse on the opposition defenders, he would be able to notice some of their weaknesses which he would try to exploit during the remaining part of the game. It is surely something a practice which we have not heard before.
“As the game advances, he gets in little by little. But he knows perfectly where the rivals’ weaknesses are.” says Valverde.
PLAYERS REJECT BARCELONA CLAIMS PRESIDENT
In this feature, club president Josep Bartomeu speaks about the rejection of some players because of the incredible competition within the squad.
How FC Barcelona are preparing for the future of football https://t.co/90mdIxGlDz
— Financial Times (@FT) March 1, 2019
With the likes of Lionel Messi, Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Carlos Puyol, Sergio Busquets, and Dani Alves, many players would have played second fiddle because those crop of players were untouchable when they were on their prime.
“Not all the players I wanted to sign have come to Barcelona.”
“I have examples that I cannot say – very important players now playing at other clubs. We told them to come, they were excited but at the last moment they said: ‘I can’t sign because I will be on the bench,’
“We don’t want them. Sometimes, they are not strong enough to say: ‘where do you want me to play? Xavi is playing, why do you want me? You want me to play in Lionel Messi’s position? I can’t,'” adds Bartomeu.
– 51 hat-tricks in 948 games.
– 25 of them (49%) with goals from penalty spot.
– 50 hat-tricks in 797 games.
– 13 of them (26%) with goals from penalty spot. pic.twitter.com/eX84gXWEiq
— Barça Universal (@BarcaUniversal) February 23, 2019
Fans are descrying Real Madrid’s struggles without Cristiano Ronaldo because he was their main supply of goals during his nine-year stint at the capital city of Spain. There is no doubt that the Blaugrana will also be on the receiving end when Lionel Messi decides to hang up his boots. They both are irreplaceable. That is why they are prized assets to their clubs and fans.