The Messiah's Last Dance & Billions Who Rejoiced Alongside Him
The story of the little boy from Rosario, Santa Fe and how he went on to be the biggest name in football.
It’s a bittersweet end to the week, for we no longer have the FIFA World Cup to look forward to. But it would be wrong to leach the excitement out of an upcoming celebration, the origins of which far predate the inception of the World Cup.
A Story For You
On Sunday, the world arose to the resounding cheers of Argentinians and Argentina supporters across the globe. La Copa Mundial de Fútbol had finally returned to La Albicelestes after a wait of more than 13,321 days and boy, was it entertaining.
Exhilaration, exultation and euphoria for Argentina.
Anguish, agony and abjection for France.
In what could only touted to be one of the best games of football ever played, Argentina finally bested France (after a heartbreaking defeat to them in the Round of 16 match in the 2018 World Cup), adding the coveted star on their federation’s emblem. What made this game nerve-wrecking, were the goals scored and the order and time in which the players netted the ball far past the respective goalkeepers. Argentina sealed the deal in the first half of the game, breaking the deadlock by scoring two, just about placing their pinky finger on the trophy to lift it, when the French wreaked havoc.
This win, however, is more memorable than any in the World Cup before, purely because of context. It was the crowning moment of one of the greatest players to ever grace a football pitch and it took a while - it took a while of pain, dejection, criticism, despair and failure, before the moment finally manifested itself.
As Peter Drury rightly said, this is the story of the little boy from Rosario, Santa Fe with only one dream - to win the World Cup.
And that man is Lionel Andrés Messi. He dreamt one of the wildest dreams there ever was because he wanted nothing more than what is depicted in this video.
But it wasn’t easy… it rarely is. In the past 18 years, Messi had accumulated every accolade that football had to offer, cementing his name in history books as one of the best. Many people view this as exaggeration and discontinue the conversation due to disbelief but it’s the truth. Wherever he played, he won. There was nothing in football that Messi hadn’t won at least once. Here you go, check it out for yourself.
However, he couldn’t get his hands on the one thing that he wanted the most - his dream cup.
"I would prefer to win a World Cup rather than five Ballons d'Or if I had to choose," Messi said at a news conference.
"I have always said that I prefer team achievements and the World Cup is the biggest trophy out there."
And he came close. The FIFA World Cup 2014 in Brasil saw Argentina make it to the final after winning on penalties against the Dutch. There were billions of people banking on the little Argentine winning the trophy and bringing it home but fate had other plans. More than a billion hearts were broken that night. Messi had to accept the gut-wrenching truth and move on but what followed in his international career was nothing short of disaster.
Copa América, formerly (until 1975) South American Championship of Nations, quadrennial South American football tournament that is the continent’s premier competition in that sport. The Copa América is the world’s oldest international football tournament. (Credits: Britannica)
2014: Lost the World Cup Final against Germany.
2015: Lost the Copa América Final against Chile on penalties.
2016: Lost the Copa América Final against Chile on penalties.
Messi lost three consecutive finals, failing to secure an international trophy for his nation and in 2016, he quit.
That was short-lived however. In August of the same year, Messi returned to the international team, this time with the grit and determination required to do what he hadn’t done in 12 years. And after the 2018 World Cup, the tides turned.
2021: Won the Copa América against Brasil.
2022: Won the Finalissima against Italy.
2022: Won the World Cup against France.
Messi is 35-years-old and almost at the end of his footballing career. After all these years of doubt, debate and deliberation, there is one thing that no one can take away from him - the transition from the best to the greatest football player to have ever played the game.
Messi completed football.
We take inspiration from Messi and ask you to help us complete our objective as well.
He’s risen above and beyond the rest by quite a margin, proving once again, that there isn’t going to be another like him. His legacy is unshaken and will remain so until the end of time. Lifting the cup on the 18th of November made all the other greats more relatable while he basks in a league of his own. Seldom are stories complete and this is but a rare example of what a complete journey looks like.
And if you’re thinking of why this article is in the category ‘All About Mankind’, it’s because more than half the world smiled when the little magician kissed the golden trophy, finally making it his own.
Argentina celebrated this week but it was a celebration enjoyed, appreciated and applauded by almost everyone in the world.
Lionel Andrés Messi’s dream was one, not for himself, but for others to take a moment out of their grueling lives and see what the word ‘complete’ actually looked like.
This isn’t another LinkedIn article scrutinizing, analyzing and breaking down leadership strategies, teamwork and goals. It’s a story - a story that unites billions of people, regardless of nationality, religion, caste, creed, sex, language or culture to take joy in a little boy’s dream come true.
A Story From You
A video is a string of pictures in motion and a picture is a worth a thousand words.
Of all the videos that broke the internet on the eve of the World Cup Final, which one touched your heart the most?
From yet another boy who dreams,