The Lionel Messi Guide to Living | Trending News Buzz
The soccer superstar, who was getting on in years, displayed to a world fixated on youth the potential splendour of a late-style success, just like any great artist.
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Late style is a term that was coined by the literary critic Edward Said to describe the final works of a musician or writer. Late style is when the deterioration of the body can’t help but instruct artistry when creativity is imbued with the bumps, bruises, and wisdom of a life nearly fully lived.
Lionel Messi, an Argentine forward, is 35 years old, which in soccer years makes him a real senior citizen. And this World Cup was his final work, his version of Beethoven’s final string quartets or Monet’s lily ponds. He retired after this tournament. And what makes Argentina’s exhilarating victory something to savour is how this victory was both the culmination of his career and the embodiment of a late style, a performance that carried the melancholic sense of an ending. This victory was the embodiment of a late style, and it was a performance that carried Argentina’s melancholic sense of an ending.
The experts in the field reached a consensus early on over the general direction of the plot. Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal, the two players who best exemplified the era, had won all of the prizes in the game with the exception of the championship trophy. The competition in Qatar marked their last chance to close the gap and win a trophy that is generally viewed as necessary for making a claim to being the best player to have ever lived.
Ronaldo, who was 37 at the time, struggled because he was unable to adjust to the loss in his physical abilities. He insisted on acting as though he were ten years younger than he actually was while playing. He made himself unnecessary by behaving as though he was an indispensable part of the team. And in his last game, a lackluster loss to Morocco, he came off the bench, did little, and then departed the field in tears, without shaking hands with his adversaries or consoling his heartbroken teammates. This was his final performance. It was a pitiful way to end things, which was fitting for such a pointless career.
The defeat of Messi is illustrated by this counterargument. Messi was forced to move more efficiently since his legs were unable to support his weight. Instead of acting like a younger man, he took on the role of an older one when he pretended to be a man. He took it easy throughout the games, reserving his energy for the times when he might demonstrate his dominance. He demonstrated a wonderful understanding about the ways in which he could be able to portion out his diminishing bodily self, as well as the ways in which he needed to make choices regarding when to give himself completely.
Messi has found success over the majority of his career by moving back towards the midfield, where he can drag defenders out of position and open up space for his teammates to exploit. When he touched the ball, he caused confusion among the defensive players because they weren’t sure if he would run past them or use his passing ability to switch the attack or pick out a target who was rushing the box. This caused the defenders to become anxious.
Because of this, that particular element of surprise is no longer present, and that is because his speed is no longer present. His success in the competition was partly attributable to his craftiness, which included flicks, misdirection, the dropping of his shoulder, and the swivelling of his hips. It was the moment when he spun around the 20-year-old Croatian defender Joko Gvardiol and then served the ball into a charging Julián lvarez. It was a humiliating moment for Joko Gvardiol. Or the blind throw that sliced through the Dutch defense like butter. This craftiness wasn’t merely the result of natural skills; it was also the product of the experience gained over the course of a profession.
Messi has matured into a different kind of leader as he’s gotten older, in contrast to Ronaldo. When he was a teenager at Barcelona, he was known as el mudo, which means “the mute one.” This was because he took growth hormones in order to become physically credible for the elite game. His flamboyant outbursts during sports seemed to stand in bizarre contrast to his more reserved personality.
In Qatar 2022, it was moving to witness how far he had progressed as a person over the course of his life. When he was on the field, there were times when he behaved like a jerk by fouling violently and complaining in an ugly manner. However, he also adopted a style of leadership that worked well for him. He accepted responsibility for his team but at the same time never behaving as though he was above or above his team. And the way he led was, in a way, therapeutic for those who followed him.
To take yet another concept from Edward Said, Lionel Messi has led a life of exile, one that he has self-imposed and that has, of course, been financially successful. However, because he played his sport overseas, he always seemed to be a little bit trapped in between: uncertain about his relationship to his birthplace, and estranged from the place he now calls home. He was revered by his countrymen but was unknown to them, a paradox that was heightened by the fact that his nation had never been victorious in the competition for the most prestigious of all trophies. It’s possible that repairing his connection with Argentina was part of his motivation to compete in the World Cup.
While I was watching Messi play his final game in the World Cup, I was naturally captivated by one of the best matchups that has ever been played. But I also discovered that I had a sense of gratitude toward someone who had taught me through his example; someone who demonstrated why, in a culture that idolizes youth, the style of one’s later years is frequently the most impressive.
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