I got up early in the morning to watch the epic clash between Argentina and Chile in the final of Copa America Championship 2016 and I least expected Lionel Messi to announce his retirement from international career on the very same day. In fact, I got up happy to watch him play, the way he masters the game and ended up something which I least expected. Since the game had extended to extra half, I missed the extra time and the ultimate shoot outs as I needed to leave to my office. But when I reached my office and checked the online portals, history was once again made by Chile, leaving Argentina for an unending drought of 23 years for a major championship win. Just hours after the game, there was no Argentina or Chile or football or even Copa Amercia, it was all Lionel Messi. People, fans and critics have forgotten all the other teams who have played in the tournament and their so called ‘failed expectations’. The spotlight was unnecessarily shifted to the Argentinean alone. A man who has broken many records with his magical boots was just helpless today. People always expect things from others, a favour or a help and there is the historic quotation that expectations hurt. While we expect a lot from others, at the same time, the irony is that, we want no one to expect anything from us. If we start thinking in this sense, then we might have to question that does the football world deserves Messi.
I believe football is a way of life and Messi had scripted it well. It is not a venue where we should expect things to happen, histories to be made. Just like anyone else, Lionel Mess is also a human. He might have dreamed a little more than what others did at his childhood so that he is one of the globes favourite athletes now. Unfortunately, I would say he was the victim of overloaded criticism and expectation. The whole football world has forced Messi to take the decision. If this hasn’t happened, then the 29 year old, taking in account of the envying form which he is playing now, we can easily expect him to wait for the next major championship. We have seen the long career runs of Andre Pirlo, Ryan Giggs and Javier Zanetti and the world might have had the chance of seeing him once again. But I totally agree that no individual can tolerate back to back losses after getting into the three consecutive finals of major tournaments and all ending up in the wrong side.
In this case, Messi is yet again proven that he is a human. He might have emotional just like any other human and wished to have the media stop criticizing him. What did the world did to him? I love football and that’s why I love Messi. The truth that the Argentinean forward will no longer be seen in the bluish white t-shirt is slightly disappointment. But I hope the critics and fans be patient and watch him conquering world in his rest of the career. Remind, we are lucky to have Lionel Messi in our era and he is already half way through. Let criticism and expectations be away and let us enjoy the rest of Lionel Messi era!