Five reasons why theres hope for Messi

03 July 2014 01:46

Four-time world footballer of the year Lionel Messi has not scored in the last seven games against Belgian's Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.

Here gives the 27-year-old Argentine captain and Barcelona star encouragement by listing five cases of similar droughts ended in spectacular fashion.

Messi's Argentina face Courtois and Belgium in the World Cup quarter-finals on Saturday:

Tony McCoy - Grand National

The record-breaking 19-time champion jockey looked as if he would never win the Grand National after 14 failed attemtps at the world's greatest steeplechase. Aged 35, time was against him. Then, in 2010, on the appropriately named Don't Push It - given how patient the Northern Irishman had been -- he ended that drought in style, winning by five lengths. "I've won lots of big races and I'm supposed to be a good jockey, but to not win the Grand National would be a bit of a negative on the CV," said a visibly moved McCoy.

Greg Norman - majors

Gifted and flamboyant golfer the 'Great White' somehow lost his bite when it came to the business end of the majors. Variously accused of being a flat track bully or a choker he looked to have put that to bed when he won the British Open in 1986. He then suffered play-off heartache in the 1987 Masters and the 1989 British Open and let the chance of making another play-off slip by as he bogeyed the 18th in the 1989 Masters when all he needed was a par. "I hid it inside me and wouldn't admit how much it hurt me. I was in denial." he said. However, he put the pain behind him when claiming the 1993 British Open to win his second and what was to be his last major title.

Vitas Gerulaitis v Jimmy Connors

Gerulaitis was the epitome of cool on the tennis court, striking looking with beady eyes and long blond hair which gave him a rock star air. His natural talent couldn't make up for his laid back attitude to training. However, he still made a highest ranking of three in the world and was arguably a bigger draw card than many of his more rigorous peers. Thus it was when in 1980 he finally beat Jimmy Connors -- the polar opposite of Gerulaitis with his pudding bowl cut and streetfighter style -- after 16 straight defeats he strode into the press room, bottle of champagne in hand, and declared to the press: "And let that be a lesson to you all. Nobody beats Vitas Gerulaitis 17 times in a row."

Ireland v France -- 2000 Six Nations

The Irish rugby team had travelled to Paris to play France not having won there in 28 years and without any sort of victory over them since 1983. However, a hat-trick of tries by 21-year-old centre Brian O'Driscoll saw the Irish record an astonishing 27-25 victory in a sunlight Stade de France. It was good they made the most of it as it took another 14 years to win in Paris again, appropriately enough in O'Driscoll's final test match.

Noah Ngeny v Hicham El Guerrouj -- 2000 Olympics

The 1500 metres Olympic final in Sydney was meant to be the moment when the outstanding Moroccan made up for his disappointment of falling in the final four years before and he had stuck up a photo of that sickening moment on his wall to motivate him even more. He came to the Olympics having won two 1500m world titles in the intervening years and suffered just one defeat. Ngeny, while regarded as a decent runner, wasn't seen as a threat, and had never come close to beating El Guerrouj. However, it all went terribly off script as Ngeny ran the race of his life to pass El Guerrouj in the finishing straight to take the title.

Source: AFP