All good things come to an end. More often than not, the greatest stories do so in unceremonious, even uninspiring manner. That is the exact case with Leo Messi. In tears and heartbreak, his Barcelona career is over, and heaven knows whether we will ever be able to recover from the sorrow.
Almost 21 years ago, a little boy by the name of Lionel Andrés Messi crossed the Atlantic from Argentina to Catalunya in search of a better future at the infamous academy of FC Barcelona, La Masia. Little did he, his family or the entire world know that the exact same person would go on to become the greatest to ever grace football. From the day that he made his professional debut, things weren’t the same.
His immeasurable genius conquered our hearts. The hearts of every single football fan, even those that never admitted it. Leo revolutionised the game. His one-in-a-million gift, non-stop hard work and tendency to improve and evolve inspired millions of people all over the globe. His career achievements and legacy speak for themselves. Yet Messi was so much more than a record-breaker. His loyalty to Barça created a precious affection between him, the club and it’s supporters.
It’s due to that bond and affection that his sudden and undignified exit will forever leave a bitter taste. Against his will, he was forced to leave the club that gave him everything. His tears in the farewell press conference are worth a billion words. He loved Barça and didn’t deserve to depart in such fashion. But his invaluable connection with the club ended prematurely and way too abruptly.
I am honestly lost for words. It’s Leo Messi that inspired me and many more fans to get into football, and I will forever be grateful to him for thoroughly influencing the football world.
September 2000 — August 2021. Eternal relationship.