Lionel Messi does the same thing in every match. The FC Barcelona player, puts on his kits; he puts on his booths, walks around for a bit, scores, and then goes home. It appears so easy, but why does he spend so much time walking around?
In fact, if I told you that Lionel Messi had something in common with Mohammed Ali, you would laugh at me to scorn, but it is true anyway.
Like the greatest Boxer of all time, Lionel Messi analyses his target to learn how to bring them down. During the 1st 5-minute of every match, he walks about, he hides away, and he wanders between the lines. WHY?
Former Barcelona coach, 2017-2020, Ernesto Valverde, explained that; “gradually, as the match goes on, Messi moves in little by little, he knows perfectly where the rivals’ weaknesses are.”
That’s the genius of the 6-time Ballon d’Or winner. He chooses to stay back at the start of games to get a good look at the opponents and figure out their weaknesses.
Consider Barca’s strikes in the opening minutes of games, he hardly ever takes part. But like a snake, he is at his most deadly when you can’t see him.
Also, Pep Guardiola said; “as for Messi, you have to pay attention to when he Messi moves away. He spends his match walking, he is always analysing the situation. He is the player who runs the least in the La LiGa.”
Indeed, one can easily tell, that when Messi gets the ball, he has a complete analysis of space and time in his head. He knows where every player is, and BOOM!, he scores.
Things don’t suddenly change after the 5 minutes, more of a sprinter than a marathon runner, Messi chooses the perfect moment to strike.
In the World Cup match against Iceland on the 16th of June, 2018, he only sprinted for 58 seconds. The Argentine actually walked for about 80 minutes in the match.
It was the same against Cristiano Ronaldo’s Real Madrid in December 2017. Messi only spent 5 percent of the entire match running. However, that did not stop him from scoring a penalty.
Another example is, from 2016, during the last-16 of the UEFA Champion League. In Barca’s match, he scored twice, but he was the player who run the least apart from the goalkeepers.
Messi’s style of play, analysis, and instincts gives one the impression that he does things naturally and his brain is always processing.
Upon all the records he had set, he; has more than 700 goals, is 6 time winner of the Ballon d’Or, has won 10 La LiGa titles, and he had won UEFA Champions League trophies.
Like Mohammed Ali, on the pitch, Messi floats like a butterfly, and stings like a bee.