Most people have run out of superlatives for Lionel Messi’s performances on a soccer field. “La Pulga” (The Flea) has taken the World Cup in stride — four goals in three games — and catapulted Argentina into the Round of 16, where they will now face Switzerland.
His goal-scoring prowess, however, wasn’t enough to impress his top critic: Antonio Cuccitini, his grandfather.
The striker’s grandpa wasn’t too pleased with his famous grandson’s performances in Brazil 2014 thus far. Cuccitini told AS.com:
"I think he’s been pretty poor. In Spain, he’s got more zip, he goes around 22 players. He needs to get his spark back. Right now Leo isn’t running, I’m not convinced by him. I’m truthful and I don’t have time for hot air.”
Ouch! That’s gotta hurt.
Despite three “man of the match” performances, does Messi’s grandad really think the four-time Ballon d’Or winner isn’t putting the effort in? That’s a stretch and one that we can’t believe.
“You can’t demand everything,” Cuccitini said. “He’s not God, who can do it all. … Keep your chin up, you’ll do great, I love you lots.”
We all have idols, and very few of us actually get to meet them face to face. In the rare occasion that it happens, the reactions range from uncontrollable joy to stunned silence.
When Trinidad & Tobago faced Argentina on Wednesday, one player used the handshake line as his opportunity to show respect to his idol, Lionel Messi.
Was this the most appropriate setting for Ataullah Guerra to actually bow down to Messi? Probably not. Then again, it’s not often one gets this rare opportunity, so we can’t really blame him for taking advantage of the situation.
But we doubt Messi will receive the same treatment from his opponents in Brazil.
Ever since shows like Candid Camera and Punk’d came around, people everywhere are skeptical when presented with a situation that seems too good to be true.
This is especially true when a person is surprised by their sporting idol.
Head and Shoulders filmed a stunt in which people were dared to hug whatever came out of a special box. A knight, an astronaut, an elderly women; you name it, it came out of that box.
But then, a surprise guest made an appearance:
You can see the gears turning in their heads. "Is that really Lionel Messi? I mean, really? It can’t be. Maybe? YES IT IS LIONEL MESSI!"
Eventually, everyone accepted it was truly Messi standing in front of them, and they hugged him like they’ve never hugged before. D’awwwww.
(H/T SB Nation)
Adidas unveiled their official World Cup TV spot during halftime of Saturday’s UEFA Champions League Final, and of course it didn’t disappoint.
With the tagline “All In or Nothing,” the ad features some of adidas’ biggest clients - Lionel Messi, Dani Alves, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Mesut Özil, Luis Suárez, Robin van Persie and Xavi - and is directed by “City of God” director Fernando Meirelles. And yes, none other than Kanye West is on the 1s and 2s.
Watch it below:
Thanks Boyd Gibson from Aberdeen for your transfer suggestions! We’ll be sure to pass them on to the manager! 😉 pic.twitter.com/TgMsZJlqyX— Aberdeen FC (@AberdeenFC)May 20, 2014
A boy can dream, right?
Nine-year-old Boyd Gibson sent Aberdeen FC a list of players he’d like his favorite club to pursue in the summer transfer window, and it’s brilliant!
A couple things to note here:
Trivia question: When was the last time Lionel Messi was excluded from La Liga’s official ‘Team of the Year?’ Better question: When’s the last time nobody from Barcelona made the Best XI?
Well, since the Liga Nacional de Futbol Profesional (LFP) only introduced that distinction in 2008, the answer to both questions would be ‘never.’ Until now.
Yup, this season the LFP have shut out Barca completely. Even stranger, only one Real Madrid player made the team: Cristiano Ronaldo. In place of the usual pack of players from the two La Liga behemoths? A whole gang of Atletico Madrid stars; seven of the eleven come from this year’s champions, while two Athletic Bilbao players also made the cut. Here’s the full squad:
GK: Thibaut Courtois, Atletico Madrid
DEF: Luis Filipe, Atletico Madrid; Diego Godin, Atletico Madrid; Aymeric Laporte, Athletic Bilbao; Juanfran, Atletico Madrid.
MID: Koke, Atletico Madrid; Ander Iturraspe, Athletic Bilbao; Gabi, Atletico Madrid; Ivan Rakitic, Sevilla.
FWD: Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid; Diego Costa, Atletico Madrid
Weird, isn’t it?
Images: Best XI (LFP) & Messi (Reuters)
Lionel Messi’s son Thiago has his own adorable, customized Messi jersey with “Papi” on the back, according to an Instagram post by Messi’s girlfriend Antonella Roccuzzo.
The picture was accompanied by the message: “Con vos en todas 👊👊,” or “With you in everything.”
Want to win a print of this cool Lionel Messi illustration by Eight by Eight Magazine? Just tell us on Twitter @FOXSoccer why you think Messi is the greatest, and the best answers will earn a copy!
Lionel Messi’s stratospheric ascent to four consecutive FIFA Ballon D’Or titles began when manager Pep Guardiola deemed him the savior of FC Barcelona in 2008. However, the quality and consistency of his performances for Argentina have yet to match his club form. The revenue generated by Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League competition has allowed for him to be surrounded by superior players with whom he is able to play more frequently - and against superior opposition - than with his national side. This has led to media in Argentina expressing disappointment with his commitment to the Albicelestes (sky blue and whites).
Success at the 2014 World Cup will be the biggest factor in whether he can wrestle the Ballon d’Or back from Cristiano Ronaldo, but more important, a final win for Argentina could establish Messi as the greatest player of all time.