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Lionel And What He Means To Us

LEVERKUSEN, GERMANY - FEBRUARY 13:  Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona looks on during training at the BayArena on February 13, 2012 in Leverkusen, Germany.  (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Bongarts/Getty Images)
LEVERKUSEN, GERMANY - FEBRUARY 13: Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona looks on during training at the BayArena on February 13, 2012 in Leverkusen, Germany. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Bongarts/Getty Images)
Bongarts/Getty Images

I know, it's close to impossible to write about him. It is definitely impossible to write about him and feel like the piece justifies the player that he is. It is close to impossible to fathom the numbers. It is close to impossible for the numbers to encapsulate the player that he is.

I know, it is definitely impossible for all the permutations and combinations of the English alphabet to somehow, catch the essence of the player that he is. But then, everything he has done, was supposed to have been impossible as well wasn't it?

Many people say that Sanskrit(it's an ancient language to those of you who don't know) is the closest there is to perfection. Allow me to quote Sir William Jones on his thoughts on the language "The Sanskrit language, whatever be its antiquity, is of a wonderful structure; more perfect than the Greek, more copious than the Latin, and more exquisitely refined than either, yet bearing to both of them a stronger affinity, both in the roots of verbs and in the forms of grammar, than could possibly have been produced by accident; so strong, indeed, that no philologer could examine them all three, without believing them to have sprung from some common source, which, perhaps, no longer exists."

No, I do not plan to write my thoughts in Sanskrit, but my point is this. Maybe, that's the only way to describe the man. Maybe English is simply, not enough but what we need is to invoke the mystical rituals of dynasties past and hope that the same Gods that have blessed that little one with so much, may take mercy on us and gift us the means by which we could truly- 'capture his spirit'.

It's close to impossible, all these things, cause in some weird profound way, it's a vicious cycle. The means justifies the end. That somehow you always reach that final solution and agree on that most Indian of attributes to finally come to the conclusion and decide to say:"ahhh fuck it, Ima have me a beer and watch the magic unfold". Or i wish atleast, cause tomorrow or day after when Leo works on overburdening my weak, miss-a-beat-every-once-in-a-while heart by running past 1...2...3...4....5 players and scores? I know I'll get that feeling of frustration once again.

The first year of Pep's era, you could see glimpses of the man he could grow up to be, almost like Pep was taking it easy on all of us. Like somehow he felt that if Messi was played centrally to begin with, people would just be too overwhelmed. There is only so much emotion a man can take right? That first year under Pep, was me talking to the TV everytime Leo started his run, "common, common, ahhhhhhhh goalllllllllllll" with a few fist pumps in between.

The second year, we were expecting bigger. The second year we wanted more. The second year what we asked of this player was considered impossible. We wouldn't dare say it out loud in case we jinxed it or worse, ended up looking like idiots, if he couldn't keep it up. That second year when Messi moved centrally, for me at least it was all about profanity. I used every different expletive in every language I know to celebrate the player that he was(in case you're wondering, that's Hindi,English,Malayalam,Tamil,Kannada,Arabic). No, I don't speak all of them fluently but like all great students of languages, I learnt the dirty words first;).

Then, ofcourse was the problem. By the end of the second year, my underdeveloped footballing mind(like all fans before the Messi era), just couldn't see how it could go anywhere but down. It was impossible after all, wasn't it? It had not been done before and we humans, aren't really that bright. We fear what we can't understand. We had reached the limits of our imagination and anything beyond was something like Jack Sparrow on a ship falling off the edge of the world. It was beyond what we were capable of handling.

Cules have to think about what they wish for. In our limited capacities, we can't stand looking at something that just cannot be understood, in fact we fear it so much that we could have hated it. But not him, not La Pulga, not that little fellow who everytime he scores, has a slight mischievious smile and two pointed fingers to the sky. That third year should not have happened. Since that impossible year, things have not improved. Somehow abusing the world, the opponent, the tv, some of my friends who dared to take an attempt at small talk during a game and just the cosmos,in general, was not enough. What were we to do, if the most primitive part of our communication skills-profanity-had left us high and dry?Keep in my mind, I did it in multiple languages. Admittedly not in Sanskrit, but I'm pretty sure a 2000 yr old language like that would not add extra emphasis to profanity, at least not more than, say, Hindi.

Since that damned year, my only real reaction is my jaw dragging the floor depending on the number of goals Messi has scored. The jaw dropping continued into this 4th year and I got used to the carpert burns on my chin.But Thursday night, was different. It was supposed to be impossible. So, now, I realize the futility of arguing about "Who really is the best".

There is a resignation towards the whole debate, a meek acceptance of your opponent's point of view just so that he or she would shut up. It is like having solved the universal equation that all physicists are crazy about, and not telling anybody. It is a secret that makes me smile from within. It is the knowledge and the comfort that radiates from my person when asked the question "Who is the best ever". I just smile and think to myself "It was supposed to be impossible, but both YOU and I know who it is, the only difference is I've accepted it." and nothing really had to be said cause it is inevitable.Sure, they would yap away about something or another but I strongly believe that all Cules feel the same as I. Keep in mind,this isn't the peak-- just his coronation.We've heard all the arguments, the responses, counter arguments, all of it.

But in the end, we all know "who the best ever is", and in our knowledge, we find comfort and get to sit back. No longer will my jaw drop. No longer will I ask myself, 'how'? Henceforth, every time Messi scores an "impossible" goal or breaks a record that was supposed to be "impossible", I will just smile and in a way, I guess the word below explains it(Huh! I guess English wasn't good enough after all)

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