Few men are born for games and Lionel Messi is one of them. Any of his football kicks has world-class speed and a degree of placement and diversity that no one else can compete with. His success speaks volumes and awards that he received parade his talent.
Few men are born for games and Lionel Messi is one of them. Any of his football kicks has world-class speed and a degree of placement and diversity that no one else can compete with. His success speaks volumes and awards that he received parade his talent. When he travels, kids run and hug him spontaneously and groundmen watch him with awe and consider any interaction with him as a prestigious moment in their lives while elders call him pride of the country!
Recently, In the shocking press conference, he had declared retirement from international football subsequently the outcome of Argentina’s penalty shootout loss to Chile at the Copa America. There must be some concrete reasons why a person at the age 29, who has the recognition as the best footballer on this planet, chose to leave the limelight at the national level? There are a hundred ways to write a story about a storm. I am choosing the simplest way to interpret it.
Let us look at various viewpoints. If you look at his positives first, he received World Soccer Young Player of the Year award in 2006 and European Golden Shoe thrice in 2010, 2011 and 2012 and many other awards, etc. (I cannot list them all here.) Why will someone retire with so much success on the soccer field? Has the God gone crazy with one of his finest creations..? Why did the storm choose to remain silent which is adverse to his nature? Ever since Messi declared his retirement, he has been a shadow of his former self.
If you evaluate what could have triggered the retirement then following, possibilities provide the insights.
Inner Battle and Enemy within caused the retirement decision
I think maybe he failed to stand on his expectations and standards (Like winning all the major tournaments and world-cup) that he would love to adhere. This concept is unanimously recognized as “inner enemy.” This particular scenario could be one of the cases of “internal enemy” that failed to live up to the dream has prompted the decision. Maybe there was nothing left which can lift his spirits. Nevertheless, if you leave boy, your opponents will have “all the marbles”. Apparently, it appears that force within has surrendered to the defeat. He needs a stroke of inspiration from himself or someone close. For illustration, if you look at history, a revitalized Ronaldo awoke from his four-year terrible period and led Brazil to its fifth World Cup title with a performance of ages. Messi, should ideally drive himself in that direction and win the next world cup for Argentina!
Messi and Temperament at crunch-games
What does temperament meant for a football player? Players gut reaction when circumstances go against him is commonly defined as temperament for a football player. After the defeat, if the player reacts with discipline or love for the game is a sign of high temperament and player reacting with frustration or want to quit a sign of weak temperament. (* Some conditions and specific scenarios apply).
Now, data recommends that he did exceptionally well in European or other matches. If I have to make decisions based on data, then I would say he was exceptional 80% of the time, but he failed 20% time and may be world-cup contests fall in that 20% games where he was supposed to deliver extraordinarily.
During a match against “Chile” situation went against Messi. History suggests that Messi failed to concur the occasion when it mattered most, around 20% times. Furthermore, in the world cup football final, when circumstances went against Argentina and Messi could not plot the downfall of the enemy with precise aggression and skillfulness. The hallmark of the big player is they should be able to seize the day on the big occasion and take their team to victory. Now, Messi captured the day in European matches but then not for the World-Cup. To arrive at a conclusion, we cannot make a decision that temporary symptom of weak temperament behind the retirement announcement.
Politics and external expectations
One of the assessments says Argentine football association suffered from political power struggles, structural issues, and financial problems and gradually players felt frustrated with the environment. This frustration could be the scenario that has added fuel in his decision making.
Another issue is weight of external expectation where he just refused to “play the ball”..? As the burden of external expectations was too much to handle. This theory may not be correct as he did exceptionally well since 2006-07, and hence I rule out this possibility.
Impact on others
Another significant factor is all the money Argentina association and national team receive is mainly due to the charisma of Messi and they just cannot let him go..! All contract value will come down if Messi chose to stand firm on his decision of retirement.
Messi— Let the storm display its inherent nature—come back with spirit within..!
Whatever may be the reason, Inner enemy or whatever, Messi is an excellent footballer, and we love him to watch. Age is on his side and lot of football is left in him. I am firm believer of happiness, and his game does manage to bring the smiles across the world. I think, Messi already has earned a place equal to Pele and Maradona without winning a world cup. So, come on boy, get out of the panic room, reload the mental battery, get back your old ignited mind, target the enemy in the World Cup after two years, for you — there is nothing lose and everything to gain..!
The author is the IITB alumnus and working in software field and can be contacted at