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Posts Tagged ‘Lionel Messi’

Pedro saves Barcelona

Soccer and snow – not so good together. So I’m stuck indoors today, watching a brilliant display by Barcelona as it comes from behind to defeat Estudiantes de la Plata in the FIFA Club World Cup.

It was one thing to see Pedro score the equalizer in the 89th minute on a header that just barely floated over the head of goalkeeper Damian Albil, who had some great saves in the game but couldn’t stop that one.

But then Lionel Messi sneaks into the box to score the game-winner with his chest? Are you kidding me? Just a brilliant goal to cap a historic 2009 for his squad.

The shame is you wonder how many people actually followed the match in what’s often an overlooked tourney. (Even I briefly forgot about the one match I knew I wanted to see today, but that’s because I was I gleefully watching Fulham pummel Manchester United.)

As good as the UEFA Champions League is, it’s just that – a club title for Europe.

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I’m telling you, the trophy is this big!

Barcelona winger/striker/wunderkind/noted mullet Lionel Messi won the Ballon d’Or on Tuesday. Messi is the best of the Argentinian young guns who will be stumbling into South Africa under the cocaine-residue-fueled guidance of national hero/mess Diego Maradona. Behind Messi’s emergence as the sport’s best player*, Barcelona captured the league title, the league cup and the Champions League title. Messi led the team in overall scoring (38) and in Champions League goals (9).
Messi received only seven points less than the highest possible score a player can receive from the Ballon d’Or jurors (European footy journalists), an outstanding total from any perspective. What makes this achievement even more stunning is that four of the top five vote-getters were Barcelona players.
Remember how everybody said Al Gore would have won in 2000 if Ralph Nader hadn’t split the vote? Messi had four teammates trying to split his vote and he zipped by them like they were wearing Manchester jerseys in a final.

*Best offensive player. As with all Best of… and Most Valuable… awards, the offensive-minded players get the most props. As the BBC article linked above correctly notes, Messi was given a lot more freedom when Barcelona purchased Dani Alves in 2008. He runs the wing and allows Messi to hold his nose to defensive responsibilities without looking like a poor teammate (cough-cough Cristiano). Who was the best defensive-minded player last season? Any nominations?

Posted via web from The Philly Soccer Page

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