Yesterday night, football talk shows blew up with call-ins surrounding the person of Lionel Messi, and most were simply Malicious if not cruel to put it lightly.
Those who missed the Episodes with Messi from the start had a very lackluster performance and were on the brink of dropping points at home to Olympique Lyon 0-1. Messi was substituted by the coach Pochettino Mauricio, in his words “To protect and save Messi for future encounters” at 1-1.
Paris Saint Germain bounced back and went on to win the game with eventual substitute Icardi, scoring the winner.
Although this was far from Lionel Messi’s best performance, the fact that he was still on the pitch when PSG was awarded a penalty earned them the equalizer, but the penalty was taken by Neymar and not Messi has had many hurling questions at the football world.
True that at former club, Barcelona, no other player will dare try to take the penalty in Messi’s place, a spot-kick that could have in some way “shock absorbed” criticisms and at least on paper got him off the mark on the goal scorers list.
The negative comments have been really diabolic and to a large extent Unfair. I think this exceptional player deserves better, but let’s face it, Messi needs help.
The setup of PSG at the moment does not put Messi in the right circumstances to shine and his opponents these days do not seem to revere him as they did just weeks ago in Spain. The unusual huge number of balls he lost versus Lyon yesterday quickly certifies this.
In all fairness, Messi struck the goal post off a well-taken freekick, got a chance to score on a 1 vs 1 encounter with the goalkeeper of Lyon but narrowly missed out. Had he scored these opportunities, the world would be singing a different song today. The only problem is that he didn’t take these chances to score!
If you had read our Write up on Messi when he left Barcelona, just weeks ago, “Why Do Some Celebrate Messi’s Departure?” you will not be surprised at this early struggle by Messi at PSG.
It should be noted that the entire team did not shine yesterday, neither on Messi’s champions league debut at the mid-week, versus relatively modest FC Brugge of Belgium, scoreline 1-1 and a poor performance by PSG players, Messi included.
Messi Needs help and it can only come from the club, his teammates, and most importantly the coach. If the PSG playing style is not set up to accommodate Messi’s playing style, or he does not adapt by reinventing his game to face the new obvious realities, this PSG adventure might end up being a disaster for Leo Messi.
I can already see Rival, Cristiano Ronaldo’s fanatical fans savoring the moment hysterically, but Messi deserves football lovers’ empathy, not mockery.
In the world of football, and life generally, one should not expect any favors, Messi Included. Like they say In Lagos Nigeria, “Wise up or get eaten Up” ….