Lionel Messi is considered by many to be the greatest footballer ever, and it is indeed true that all of the accolades that he has gathered over the years do indeed bear testimony to his greatness. Currently playing for Spanish club Barcelona, the Argentinian forward is a crucial element in the Catalan team. In this article, we will be shedding some light over the Challenges and Controversies lionel messi faced during his career.
1. Humble Beginnings
Messi is a product of the famed Barcelona Academy, La Masia. His talent was spotted by one of the club scouts and the management was quick to take this prodigal South American under its wings. However, Messi faced a career-threatening challenge very early on in his career when he was diagnosed with a deficiency of growth hormones. It was at this stage that the club took responsibility for the youngster and paid for all of the expenses. Messi eventually overcame the challenge and worked hard day-in-day-out to eventually become one of the greatest players in the world.
While this was a short summary of his early career, let us take a look at some of the important aspects of his professional career.
2. Is Messi’s Success only Because of the All-star Midfield he Commands?
For a long time, many critics dismissed Messi’s success as primarily a result of the dynamic midfield that supported him. Having played with the likes of Ronaldinho, Deco, Xavi, Iniesta, Ibrahimovic and others, it was natural that someone would eventually attribute success to all these big names. While it is true that all the aforementioned players did have a huge impact on the success of the club, it will be wrong to say that Messi would be nothing without the support these players lent him. The greatest argument in this case would be the fact that while many of the old guard retired and newer players replaced them, Messi’s form never went off. We saw the Argentinian giving his 100% in every game with or without support from the midfield. Many of his supporters say that the pint-sized forward has the ability to score a goal whenever he wants, wherever he wants.
3. When the Star Fails to shine for his Nation.
Challenges and Controversies lionel messi faced during his career, as many of the football pundits have denounced Messi for not producing his Barcelona form for the national team. Many say that he is ‘too quiet’ on the international stage and that ‘he does not take initiative like he does for Barcelona’. All these arguments further feed that argument mentioned above as many attribute Messi’s inability to carry his national side largely to the cause that Argentina just does not have enough world-class midfielders like Xavi or Iniesta.
4. The Battle for the Throne.
One of the most-talked about sporting rivalries in the world involves Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi. To be honest, the rivalry is not an actual rivalry but just a competition amongst the fans of each of the footballers. While Ronaldo fans claim that the Portuguese star is a more complete footballer, Messi’s fans dismiss Ronaldo as a show-off and a model rather than a true footballer like Leo Messi. It is indeed true that both the players have different styles and attitudes, both on and off the field. While Ronaldo is more of an individual player and has a more aggressive temperament which has him chasing the ball all over the field, Messi is more composed and thoughtful in his approach to the game. Football experts can identify the reason for Ronaldo’s success which they believe to be his work ethic and love for the game but in the case of Messi, they simply attribute the success to the Barcelona forward’s natural ability. When asked about the competition, neither of the players react and dismiss the notion of a rivalry, saying that they respect each other as professional footballers and have a courteous, professional relationship.
5. Dressing Room Politics.
Many football fans around the world have also been resentful about Messi’s ever-increasing influence in the Barcelona dressing room as well as in the running of the club. The superstar forward is a prized commodity and his happiness is a huge priority at the club, which naturally means that he gets his way no matter what may be at stake. Over recent seasons, we have seen Messi’s role in the management of the club where he used his influence in his war against a certain manager. The feud affected team performance and left millions of fans disappointed with the club. While many criticized Messi for his role, others considered it absolutely natural. It is true that Messi is invaluable and Barcelona would not have been the same without him, but giving a player too much influence may result in leaving the rest of the team isolated.
6. Tax Evasion – Truth or Slander?
One of the messiest (pun intended) matters in Messi’s career has been the tax-evasion allegations put upon him. Accused of defrauding an amount of almost 4 million euros, Messi and his father have been embroiled in a messy court and media battle where the striker has had to not only fight on the legal front but also on the public relations front. While the loyal fans have stuck to his side and accepted his plea of innocence, his opponents have used the opportunity to trumpet Messi’s alleged crimes. While it is true that taxes are a civic responsibility, there needs to be a certain civility in this regard as well. Rather than making personal remarks about someone idolized by millions, it is important for all the facts to become clear so that an unbiased judgment could be made. More importantly, tax allegations do not imply that Messi is not a footballing genius. He has continued to exceed expectations, and reached a level that few players even dream of reaching. His goal-scoring ability is still fresh as new and he is becoming better and better every day.
A lot of Challenges and Controversies Lionel Messi faced during his career, there have been matters where he has indeed been scrutinized. One must understand that while Leo is a great footballer, he is still a human being and he will make mistakes, so maybe it is high times fan accept it and whenever times get tough, instead of battling their hero, they should stand by his side and support him. If that happens, future does indeed look bright for Leo Messi, the kind of football.