When you think FC Barcelona, you think class, excellence, and exquisite football. From the late great Johan Cruyff to current club president Josep Maria Bartomeu Floreta to Lionel Messi all the way down to the wee tykes, those values are intrinsic to everything Barcelona does, except paying taxes. They have a more laissez-faire approach to that. Look no further than Barcelona’s youth squad consoling their heartbroken opponents after beating them in the final of a tournament for the profound effects that La Maisa has on its players:
These kids can’t be older than about 10, but conduct themselves with a grace and poise that far exceeds their years. Credit that to La Maisa, Barcelona’s famed youth academy, a place where they mold talented kids not only into the superstars of tomorrow, but also decent human beings.
Part of Messi’s enduring appeal is his humanity. He always seemed like he was out there messing around with his friends, having fun. Not working to earn a paycheck and provide for his family.
The other part of his appeal is that he does stuff like this, on the cool:
Just a casual 80-yard volley across the field. All in a day’s work for Lionel Messi, the best advertisement La Maisa could ever have.