Ian Rush Column: Celebrating Messi

Lionel Messi is always on point with a large amount of fixtures due to Champions League etc., and you could forgive him for not delivering sometimes. But regardless, you will always get your money’s worth as he will give nothing less than 100%. And best of all, he is an absolute gentleman off the pitch, which makes him a great role model for aspiring young footballers.

Argentina's Lionel Messi delivers a speech after winning the FIFA men's soccer player of the year 2015 prize during the FIFA Ballon d'Or awarding ceremony at the Kongresshaus in Zurich, Switzerland on January 11, 2016.   -  AP

Professional footballers come and go quite frequently, but only a select few truly leave a legacy worth remembering in the years to come. The Maradonas, Peles etc. are rightly up there as being amongst the finest footballers to have ever played the game. It is a personal opinion, but I should know as I have seen some of them in action when I played against them!

 

Every generation a new great emerges, and in this generation, without doubt I can say it has to be Lionel Messi for me! The Argentinian is capable of feats few can even dream of, and his consistency sets him apart from the rest.

He is still young, and at 28 years of age, he has a good deal left in him taking into account that he may not have yet actually hit his peak, so the prospects are inspiring. He has set his position already as a legend on the sporting stage and that says a lot at such a young age. His goal-scoring record says it all. His unparalleled skill on the ball and masterful playmaking puts him in my all-time favourite list.

Most footballers have to admit to themselves that they have a weak spot in their game, whether it’s lack of being able to use their weak foot or failure to compete in the air etc., but that’s where Messi is different. I believe he is a complete player. Importantly for someone with so much to offer, he possesses team spirit and you will always see him being considerate to his fellow players.

Lots of people will compare him to Cristiano Ronaldo but apart from my personal opinion on skill, Ronaldo, for me, just isn’t a team player. The Argentinian ace is always on point with a large amount of fixtures due to Champions League etc., and you could forgive him for not delivering sometimes. But regardless, you will always get your money’s worth as he will give nothing less than 100%. And best of all, he is an absolute gentleman off the pitch, which makes him a great role model for aspiring young footballers.