Thursday, 22 September 2011

Messi and What Makes Soccer So Fantastic!

Soccer is the universal sport. For those who love what everyone outside the USA calls "football," there is no more beautiful game than the one played with one's feet.
What makes soccer so universally appealing that children in the remotest parts of the world know who Lionel Messi is? Well, let's take Messi as an example. The 5 foot 6 inch tall FA Barcelona forward is small, even by soccer standards. But Messi's diminutive size in no way diminishes his effectiveness on the field of play.
In fact, soccer is one of the few sports where smallness of stature can be an advantage, if it is accompanied by quickness, intelligence, vision, and extraordinary eye-foot coordination, which results in exceptional ball control and dribbling.
Messi possesses all these attributes. And because he does not look like a magnificent athlete, but like a regular guy, millions of regular guys, and gals, around the world can relate to him. He makes the sport more accessible to the average person. This average person can triumph on the field against larger athletes vicariously through Messi.
The simplicity of soccer, the fact that anyone can understand it almost instantly, makes it a sport for all people. The fact that the poorest children can play soccer even in the most dire places, makes it the king of sports for the poor and the rich alike.
Messi, who was born of humble origins in Rosario, Argentina, was recruited into the Barcelona cantera, or youth league system at a very young age. There, in Spain, he learned to harness his immense abilities and to use them for the benefit of his team at every level of play.
Though his home country of Argentina has not been able to win international championships with Messi at forward, his club team, Barcelona, has won three consecutive Spanish league (La Liga) titles and is being touted as one of the greatest teams of all time after having won the 2011 European Champions Cup after defeating Manchester United fairly easily.
But it is not the individual player that wins championships. If it were so, Argentina would be holding up the World Cup instead of Spain. And this is another reason why soccer is the greatest of all sports. Because the success of a "team" is contingent on the success of its players playing together as a team.
Human beings universally honor the idea of working together, of sacrificing together, for a common end. Many of Messi's teammates on Barcelona were members of La Roja, the Spanish national team and 2010 World Cup Champions. The teamwork fostered in FA Barcelona and by the other Spanish players that made up the Spain Soccer Team, provide the greatest recent example of how patience, sacrifice, and concentration, when practiced by a cohesive, single-minded, and unified group, can reach the greatest heights.
People around the world understand the greatest things are accomplished when people join together in a common cause. When people (i.e., athletes) accomplish this on the field of play, they can win championships! But championships are won outside the stadium as well, in the field of Life, where people of all colors, religions, economic and social levels working together can accomplish great things!
We all understand this, some of us more than others. And when we see it happening on the field, we are seeing what we admire most in athletes and in ourselves.
In the last several years no one has played soccer better that the Spanish National Team. The 2010 World and 2008 European champion Spaniards go for an unprecedented third consecutive major international trophy in the 2012 European Cup. Learn about the patented tiqui-taca style of play they have perfected and the promising youngsters coming up through the ranks.
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