I’m a Cristiano Ronaldo fanatic, not a Messi fan. Just like anybody in the same boat as mine, my Ronaldo sentiment has seldom made me agree with, or applaud any Messi performance no matter how good. I’ve always cynically been like, “Ehn ehn, what did he do? My ‘Ororo’ (what most Yoruba peeps nickname Ronaldo) has done and can do better always“. But, yesternight, I got served.
After watching Messi singlehandedly dismantle a German-based artillery with a dint of his undeniable class, awestruck, my soul and heart started clapping, and before I knew it, my hands too had joined, clapping almost ceaselessly for a Messi-moment that stuck on replay.
In a quite tough and balanced 90-minute match that had already seen bouts of biting dribbles from the 27-year old Argentine, it took 3 “massive” minutes of Messi’s interstellar magic and bit-rate thinking to win the keenly contested match between two football heavyweights as it reached its close.
Taking a cue from this mercurial athlete can be a dose of encouragement, I thought.
Messi had just happened again for the umpteenth time in recent footballing history, and I just had to think. There must be more to this guy.
Messi had a discouraging start to his footballing career. It is no news that he had a level of retardation in growth as a teenager, and according to reports, he didn’t even respond well to the growth hormone supplements administered to him at his La Masia Football academy. As a result, he ended up short and stunted, broadly-physiqued and with a lean feet, physical attributes that should normally disqualify him as an athletic and fit footballer, talk more ever becoming the best.
But fortunately, or better still, fatefully, these are the attributes that now make him a monstrous player on the pitch. He is short, but closer to the ground and as such doesn’t fall easily no matter the amount of shoves; his lean feet are now trained to be fleet, and as such makes him breeze past defenders with refined ease; he physique, yes, broad, but stabilizes him against the wind, and ends up having the ability to run and cover more kilometers on the pitch.
What a perfect “mismatch”!
Ordinarily, back then, Messi could have merely taken a glance at his taller, fitter and well-grown academy mates and felt horrible, discouraged and overwhelmed with inexplicable depression, especially being a kid at the time.
But, what could have made this guy live through this challenge, believe strongly in himself, and eventually be this awe-inspiring footballer he is today, if not irrepressible determination? He could have merely chosen to remain stuck in a talent-burying depressive mood, mouthing a lot of “God-Why-Mes” in one corner right now. But no, not Messi, his mind clearly chose self-motivation over self-mutilation. He now levitates on the pitch, flying above football limits with class.
We can rightly argue that Lionel Messi was created to play this game, and it is clear that the challenges he faced while growing up led him rightly to succeed therein. This stance prays my heart just one prayer; – Dear Creator, please, let me not miss out on that path you actually created me for.
This Messi spectacle again reaffirms one of life’s many true cues; that, challenges, be they natural or acquired, genetic, inherited or circumstantial, can all be successfully seen through, and used as preparatory stepping stones into greatness.
Sparks will always fly when unrepentant self-motivation collides with any form of divine grace (talents) within us. It is wisdom, when we remain determined against the gradient of challenges, no matter how steep…. a true cue this is.
I love my Koboko (another Ronaldo sobriquet) still oh, but Messi has finally won my heart too, and I’ve taken the necessary cue.
Remain motivated dear people!
This article was originally writyen two years ago after Messi led FC Barcelona to beat Bayern Munich in the Semifinal match of the UEFA Champions League at the Camp Nou. See here: http://sayoaluko.blogspot.com.ng/2015/05/taking-messi-cue.html
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