Years ago, when I was still a kid (12 or 13 years old maybe), my uncle had come down from London and the first thing that caught my eye was a blue coloured bag. I stared at that bag constantly to find out what it was and I figured it was a Sony PlayStation 2 - one of the coolest things then. One that I really wanted.
Being the only child in the household I rightfully considered myself to be the future owner of that sleek black-coloured gadget. 10 days of curiosity passed till I was told that some older kid - the 30 year old uncle - had ordered it for himself. I just hoped my cursing didn't spoil the Black Beauty.
Come on, I was a small kid then and immaturity and silliness goes hand in hand with being a kid . However, now 10 years later I am a proud owner of a Sony PlayStation 3 and I still remember cribbing to my parents and acting like the world is coming to an end. Two more lines on Playstations and I am sure Arron and Bostjan would ban me :p, but the point here is that everyone has a phase or moment in life when you feel that Life and especially God is being unfair to you and partial towards others. It leaves us wondering: "What if things had gone our way for once?"(once is used always by the way). Shit happens.
Pictures this now... Barcelona with no Lionel Messi, no Xavi, no Andres Iniesta, no David Villa or Victor Valdes, Carles Puyol, Gerard Pique, Eric Abidal, Pedro, Sergio Busquets, Dani Alves, Ronaldinho, Pep Gaurdiola, Johan Cruyff and so many more to name. Some which we know and idolize, some who we have just heard of but still consider them to be a integral part of the Blaugrana DNA .Scary isn't it.
We all are aware how hard it was for Messi to join Futbol Club Barcelona. Many people feel that the most difficult part for him was getting cured of his growth hormone disease and leaving Argentina for Catalonia. Many, including me, actually tend to forget that he was not Messi at that time, he was just Leo, another small kid who played good football.
Tiresome months had gone into deciding whether or not Leo was capable enough to be part of the Club. What if at that moment Messi's Dad had decided that Leo could not play for Barcelona, or what if the club had rejected him? What if he had given up on his treatment? Who knows, if not at Barcelona Messi could be somewhere else breaking records or could have been just another footballer.
Typing this gave me the creeps.
Xavi Hernandez was a spectacular player and also high in demand. He had received many offers from top clubs but declined all of them so that he could play for the blue and claret jersey. What if he had decided to move to some other club? What if he never got enough playing time at Barcelona to succeed?
Don Andres and a friend (let's call him Bob) of his were together in the La Masia batch. I had read an article once that when Don Andres had scored the world cup winning goal, Bob had scored a spectacular goal somewhere down in the third division. According to what I have read he was at par with Don Andres, just like Victor Vasquez, as per people who have seen him, in his young days was as good as or even better than Messi. What if? The same question arises again.
Victor Valdes hated goalkeeping , Puyol has literally played in every possible position, including goalkeeper, Pique had to move to Manchester to succeed.
And now, my two personal favourites.
Josep Guardiola, a name which has changed the thinking of so many people, a guy who redefined football, and one of the most humble people I am aware of. Pep had gone through some rough moments. Before getting in the driving seat of the first team a certain Jose Mourinho was considered an option. Even after getting into the first team and playing some spectacular football his initial days were not sweet. He lost his first game away to newly-promoted Numancia and could then only draw his first home match against Racing Santander, giving merit to the claims that the club had made a mistake giving so much responsibility to such a young and inexperienced manager. What if they had not won in Gijón?
David ‘El Guaje' Villa, Spain's top goalscorer, a footballer who made it to the top after being at the bottom. Played at Real Zaragoza, Sporting Gijón, Valencia and now Barcelona. A person who I can relate to the most. He's ambidextrous not because he had that built in him, but because he did not lose hope when he fractured his right leg. He "just" practiced with the other. Villa was on the verge of quitting football when he was 14 years old due to a spat with his coach at that time. A world class footballer and also a good human being.
What if all of them had given up or maybe what if environments were such that they could not be what they are today? None of them had it easy. That's the best we can relate with them. We all have problems. Moments in life when you just keep wondering what wrong you have done to deserve this. Even Messi and Villa could've given up even though they were one of the best.
If at any time life puts you down, its up to you to decide whether or not to bring the Inner Messila (Best way I can put it) out.
As Pep Guardiola rightfully said "It's you who chooses to be brave or to be very brave".