Whether or not you’re a Brazilian for Argentina’s World Cup Final victory, there is one thing you can’t deny. Messi is a genius with the ball and already has a seat reserved among the best of all time. The position he occupies in this ranking is the lowest. For me, he is second only to Pele. But one thing is certain: on the verge of becoming a god in Argentina, like Maradona, it sometimes seems that Lionel is not human.
Although football is not an exact science, there are many examples of research and data collection that have already suggested trying to investigate what makes an Argentinean so special.
There are studies that went through the genetic pathway: thisled by English universities, for example, suggests that left-handed players have an advantage over their right-handed peers because they are more creative and innovative.
Although the natural advantage pales when it comes to heading balls, short stature also favors Messi’s game. study showed that players with short strides and a low center of gravity are able to decelerate quickly, anticipate changes in motion, and then accelerate to higher speeds again.
However, Messi’s genius may also lie in understanding his limitations and making the game situation physically exhausting, rather than the other way around. in The current edition of the UEFA Champions LeagueThe Argentine played 5 matches – and ran, on average, 7.55 kilometers per match. It is (quite) common for midfielders to go over 10km on average. Not running all the time doesn’t mean deleting the game, of course.
toSurvey done Between the 2013-2018 season it was concluded that Messi had more contact with the ball, generated more goals and had a greater impact on the final result than Cristiano Ronaldo. All this while the Portuguese has won individual trophies and scored more goals than at any other time in his career.
Another study is devoted to analyzing the goal of the Argentine who won the Puskas Award in 2015 – dedicated to the election of the most amazing goal of the year. In the play in question, during a Copa del Rey match against Athletic Bilbao, Messi ran 55 meters in 11.4 seconds, accelerating to 32 km/h in just 2.7 seconds.
With three clicks, he takes three opponents out of play and, in 1.2 seconds, pulls a 77 km/h shot out of the hat. According to calculations, the margin of error for the sphere was 1.5 mm. The genius is in the details, as you can see in the render below.
Lionel Messi vs Athletic Bilbao. (2015) pic.twitter.com/KR3LS4bJrh
– FootballMedia (CupCIassistics) March 23, 2017
This video from ESPN Americana analyzed the same move, and also compared Messi to athletes from other sports – and testified to his genius with numbers. The interesting thing is that during the entire play, the ball was more than 60 cm from his foot only twice. The review is worth checking out.
Although science attempts to quantify Argentina’s accomplishments, there is another additional element in the mix that is difficult to quantify in numbers: talent. In the end, better than trying to understand him is watching him play. Oh Messi.
“Hardcore beer fanatic. Falls down a lot. Professional coffee fan. Music ninja.”