“Heavy Is The Head That Wears The Crown”: Lionel Messi

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After passing Pele in goals scored by a South American soccer player, Messi once again finds himself in the GOAT conversation.

Lionel Messi has become a household name in the world of soccer. When you hear his name, debate tends to follow. Is he the best soccer player? Could he surpass legends that came before him? Why is he better than Ronaldo? And so on, conversation stirs with the mention of his name. 

Messi has become one of the most decorated players, from being awarded most Ballon d’Or, holding the record for most wins in LaLiga history, and as El Clásico’s top scorer of all time. He played for a single league team for 21 years, never straying from loyalty, he has given Argentina a soccer jersey to be proud of wearing. Messi has made no easy feat for the next generation of players. 

His most recent accomplishment was becoming the top international goalscorer in South American history.  After Argentina’s 3-0 win against Bolivia in the World Cup qualifier game, Messi left the field as the only player to have scored 79 goals while wearing the Argentina shirt. 

This makes an extra dent in Messi’s illustrious career, seeing that Brazilian soccer legend Pele held the previous record. Moreover, it is sparking the debate of who is currently the best player in the league. Messi has been compared to Argentine soccer legend Diego Maradona due to his quick footwork and goal-scoring techniques and took the reigns after Ronaldinho exited Barca. Picking up and creating techniques along the way, Messi has been praised by past legends, coaches, and fans. 

But Messi has lived his entire career being compared to players from the past and present. His most consistent opponent? Cristiano Ronaldo, who like Messi, is also a legend. Ronaldo is older than Messi, has played more games than him, and held five Ballon d’Or awards. Ronaldo also currently holds the record for most goals in the UEFA Champions League and the record for most goals in the UEFA European Championship. 

While both players are regarded as the best of their time, Messi embodies the characteristics of a hall of famer. Despite struggles with his league and national team, his greatness has allowed him to prosper after trials and tribulations with his league and national team. 

After 21 years playing for FC Barcelona, 34-year-old Messi has transferred to Paris-St. Germain and signed a two-year contract with a net salary of €25 million per year. The acquisition causing shock waves throughout the global soccer world. Messi’s past and present have been measured with success. The move to Paris will become a significant milestone in Messi’s successful whirlwind career.

As far as debates go, Messi will always be compared to the best of the best, and his titles will constantly be challenged. But he has earned all of his achievements and is still well on his way to breaking more records. As Messi continues to wear his titles with pride he will continue to be an inspiration and pave the way for the future of soccer.