SI sportswriter Joe Posniak writes a very interesting post on his blog about the genius of Messi. Despite describing himself as a non-soccer person, he makes some very interesting observations about soccer.
"I measure soccer against the sports I have grown up loving, and it seems to me that that soccer — a bit like baseball — is defined by failure. Most corner kicks don’t find a teammate’s head. Most crosses into the box are too long or too short or turned away. Most shots are not aimed for the upper right-hand corner. Most runs end up being stuffed a long way from the goal. Most goals are the result of a staggering blunder — either by the defenders or the goalkeeper or the linesman who missed offside or awarded a shaky penalty kick or gave a free kick in a dangerous place. One somewhat cynical soccer commentator told me that what I need to understand is that every single goal, even the most brilliant of them, is the result of an error somewhere along the way. I suppose there are pitching coaches who would say the same thing about home runs."He goes on to say this about Messi...
"Messi simply does things — little things and big things — that other players here cannot do. He gets a ball in traffic, is surrounded by two or three defenders, and he somehow keeps the ball close even as they jostle him and kick at the ball. He takes long and hard passes up around his eyes and somehow makes the ball drop softly to his feet, like Keanu Reeves making the bullets fall in “The Matrix.” He cuts in and out of traffic — Barry Sanders only with a soccer ball moving with him — sprints through openings that seem only theoretical, races around and between defenders who really are running even if it only looks like they are standing still. He really does seem to make the ball disappear and reappear, like it’s a Vegas act."
It's interesting to me that a guy who doesn't really follow soccer that closely, can recognize the greatness of Messi so easily.
Tuesday's Soccer Lesson: Dive Like C. Ronaldo
Here's a funny little video of a coach teaching his players the "Cristiano Ronaldo". Enjoy!