In the early fall of 2006 at Estadio Nou Camp, I had the pleasure of watching a 19 year old phenom mesmerize over 98,000 fans. The flow of amazed football followers continues to swell and is becoming a colossal tidal wave called, Lionel.
Growing up as a devoted supporter of the German National Football team, I am very aware of Deutschland's lengthy and sometimes heated rivalry with Argentina.
So, my fellow Mannschaft faithful may be thinking, shouldn't this article be about Gerd or Der Kaiser? With all due respect to my fellow German supporters and the latter mentioned legends of football, they aren't Lionel Messi.
A diminutive young Argentine, with a quiet and seemingly subdued personality, Lionel elevates the game and his team mates alike. He leaves us astonished time and time again and continues to prove he is on a stratosphere of his own.
This past December Messi surpassed Muller's 40 year old record of 85 goals scored for club and country in a year, set in 1972. He has won an Olympic Gold medal, four consecutive FIFA Ballon D’Or awards, five La Liga titles, scored 31 International goals for his country, lifted the Champions league title three times and won the hearts of fans all over the world.
There is only one trophy missing to cement Messi’s position alongside the great Pele. I’m sure that Argentinian fans from all around the world are praying for the Maestro’s crowning achievement!