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Saturday, April 21, 2007

A Mirror Image

I remember very clearly the excitement I felt when Leo Messi came on for
Barcelona to score against Albacete, two seasons ago. It was his first match
for the first team, after having arrived as a 13 year old. He scored two identical goals, both equally as beautiful. It was our little secret, nurtured and schooled he has now fully blossomed on the main stage. No one can keep him secret anymore.

Perhaps it will be a classical question in times to come: where were you on
18 April 2007 (like where were you 17 May 2007)?To answer the first question
I was at home - the game was shown on TV two hours later and after all
Barcelona have been dreadful this year, so it was an easy option. Listen to
it on the radio.

It became one of the longest awaits in some time, waiting to see the famous goal. Luckily we live in a modern world (not that many times I think that, due to my romantic/sentimental nature). Perhaps it will be described as "the spectacle that did not take place", like Baudrillard explained the Gulf War, as only 50000 people saw it. Even his own brother arrived, and 30 second later Messi scored the goal that everyone is talking about.

It is frightenlingly similar to Maradona’s goal, a mirror image, the only difference being that Messi with his right foot and Maradona with his left. Everything else is virtually the same.

There are some differences though, one a visual one, which is that Maradona is totally aware of everything that goes around him. He knows that England has closed off all passing routes and the only way forward is forward.
Messi seems only concerned with the quickest way to goal. The context of the match is although what makes it different, with Maradona playing in what is the Main Stage, the semi final in the World Cup, against England only four years after the sour Falklands War. It was not just a game of football, here we had two nations who were desperate to humiliate each other.
Argentina scored a goal in a way that England simply can't stand still today, the famous hand of God.
I think that still today they can't be sure which humiliated them more, the Hand
of God or the Zig Zag of God.

While it is true, that Maradona's goal meant more, much more and Maradona is today a God, thanks to that World Cup which he won single handedly, he simply means so much to the people of Argentina. A God. When he passed out a few years ago, I knew of people who would pass by his hospital every day, to lay a flower (and if you wander they are normal people). Like Messi said - for so many years Maradona was the only thing we could look forward to. He has given us so much and for so many years he was all we had.

Messi scoring at the back stage, against “only Getafe” it is the team with least conceded goals in La Liga this year, has had to suffer being "the next heir to
Maradona", for some time, still he seems to be totally unaware of the pressure applied upon him and is upstaging himself at each occasion. While Maradona's goal probably beats his, b importance/context, he is still six years younger than Maradona was at the time. He was not even born then, and we have to thank football for his beauty, for that is what it is.

Let's hope that defenders will not opt for the same option as they did to
Maradona - Kick Him Out. When we are shouting for Fair Play. Let's Also
Protect These Kind Of Players. Let's Not Make Them Endangered Species.

see comparison

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