Lionel Messi turned 29 today. In the grand scheme of things, not that old; but soccer years are like dog years, so let’s enjoy him while we’ve got him.
Here’s the touching tribute video Barcelona made for their golden goose:
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) June 24, 2016
The best thing about Messi is that his game has evolved as he’s gotten wiser. He probably peaked, ability wise, in 2012; the year he broke pretty much every record that exists. Since, then his goal production has decreased but his passing has gotten better.
I mean, the kid always knew how to pass. Check out this vintage footage of Messi making plays on plays:
But he’s evolved into one of the best playmakers we’ve ever seen. He went from consummate scorer to all-around genius. He’s LeBron James, Ronaldo is Kevin Durant.
Messi is just as likely to set up one of his teammates as he is to score himself.
At 29, we’ve got maybe 5 or 6 more quality years of Messi to look forward to. And we’d better soak it up. There won’t ever be another Lionel Messi.
I feel sorry for those who want to compete for Messi’s throne—it’s impossible, this kid is unique.
Pep Guardiola, after Messi became Barcelona’s all-time top scorer at age 24 in 2012
I’m not down with rhino horn powder or tiger bone soup, but if there’s a chance we can turn those 5 or 6 years into 10, I say go for it.