Fans of all ages love it. Computer gamers are obsessed with it. Managers hate it. Dribbling.
If only there were a way to puncture footballers’ pomposity by hijacking their names for a frivolous festive game. Well, there is.
Football’s greatest – Pelé, Diego Maradona, Johan Cruyff, Franz Beckenbauer and Alfredo Di Stéfano amongst others – may already have been surpassed by a 25-year-old.
For many in Argentina, Messi was not one of them; he was a child of Barcelona, raised abroad and lacking in sufficient nationalistic zeal.
A whole new generation of South American talent is being nurtured. While some players, like Brazil international Neymar, are already world famous there are many more yet to establish themselves.
It’s the latest installment of El Clasico this Saturday and with it comes another opportunity to drool over the achievements of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.
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Messi’s treble against Granada, every goal a special one (when are they not?), saw him pass Cesar Rodriguez as Barca’s top-scorer.
Lionel Messi may have become Barcelona’s highest-ever scorer last night, and surely nothing can stop the Argentinian, but he can even send secret signals to Syrian rebels from the pitch, it has been alleged in an astonishing claim.
There is an agonised howl that Cristiano Ronaldo has made his hallmark. You see it whenever a rival, typically a goalkeeper, denies him glory. Last weekend, there’s a good chance that he was howling again in private.
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