Although many Argentinian compatriots once criticized Messi for choosing his nationality as Spain because he immigrated at such a young age, it cannot be denied that the blood flowing in his body is from South America. It is this special source of DNA that directly impacts Messi’s playing style. It’s clear that Messi has many characteristics of a European citizen such as being pragmatic, neat and cold. But if he weren’t from South America, Messi would never be able to perform the magic that makes his brand.
A normal South American player, no matter what position he plays, has the blood of an artist and an amateur in him. They are spontaneous, ready to turn the field into a stage, just more or less. But everything has a downside. Because of their superior wisdom compared to other continents, South Americans tend to play tricks, using their techniques to both hurt the opponent and blindside the referee. The story of “flipping” suddenly became a specialty for South Americans, most clearly shown in Neymar or Luis Suarez. Messi is South American so it is difficult to eliminate this factor.
Most importantly, at his peak, Messi’s playing style focused heavily on dribbling. It is too normal for Messi to hold the ball from the middle of the field or a hallway that has to go through dozens of meters, surpassing 3-4 tall defenders. It is repeated many times, becoming Messi’s own brand. But remember, this is an era where defensive discipline prevails, Messi clearly understands that “teasing” opponents will result in violent tackles and tackles.
To protect themselves, most South American strikers choose to fall down before the opponent touches them. They do so, causing the opponent to be inhibited, the referee to draw a card and themselves to be protected from malicious kicks. But what makes Messi extraordinary and unusual is that he does not often actively fall down. Or to put it another way: Messi will run until he can’t.
Messi’s ability to balance his body has reached perfection. Combined with his determination to create unique plays, even when the opponent plays badly, Messi will still rush forward when he can. It is this “virtue” that makes Messi neither have nor “practice” the habit of diving like his other compatriots.
Messi and his rare foulsBut even though he doesn’t want to turn falsehood into a brand, Messi still sometimes cheats. Copa America 2016 was such an occasion, when the Argentine genius had to use tricks to show his helplessness against Chile. The world’s No. 1 soccer star, who was once praised as a player with an innocent, innocent playing style and never used tricks on the field, fell at least twice in the final.
The first time, when he tried to get a penalty for Argentina in the first half (instead he got a yellow card for diving). The second time was when he tried to bring in a direct free kick before the 16m50 box. Luckily for Chile’s Charles Aránguiz, referee Heber Lopes did not send him off, as he did with teammate Marcelo Díaz, when he was sent off for fouling Messi. Chile seemed to have collapsed because of the mischief of Argentina’s number 10, but they stood firm and won.Two years later, in the match between Barcelona and Atletico, Messi also showed a very different side of himself. At minute 29, Messi decided to solo through 3-4 away team players. After overcoming Costa, Koke and captain Gabi, the long push caused La Pulga to lose when facing Filipe Luis. Immediately, Messi aimed straight at the Brazilian defender’s shin and “hit”. What’s worth mentioning is that after destroying the opponent, the Argentine superstar rolled around on the field as if he were the victim in that phase. However, the Argentine player’s mischief could not escape the eyes of referee Jesus Gil. Even though Iniesta, Rakitic, Suarez or Sergi Roberto ran to put pressure, the king in black still insisted on giving Messi a yellow card.
In the match against Liverpool in the 2018/19 Champions League, Messi continued to mark an ugly image. Specifically, in the 43rd minute of the first half, the Argentine superstar lost momentum in a dispute with defender Andy Robertson. James Milner then rushed forward and gave Messi a huge blow, causing the striker wearing the number 10 shirt from Barca to fall down. After landing, Messi also flipped a few times, a scene similar to Neymar’s performance at the 2018 World Cup. Messi then signaled to referee Bjorn Kuipers to show a card to Milner, the 46-year-old “King in Black”. say no. Messi’s falling action of course made Liverpool fans angry, and they accused him of only being good at flirting on social networks.
Also in that match, in the situation that led to the beautiful free kick goal, Messi collided with Fabinho. Referee Bjorn Kuipers said that Fabinho committed a foul because he illegally stopped Messi in a situation where he coordinated quickly with Luis. Suarez. However, the replay of the incident seemed to show Messi aiming a punch at Fabinho’s head, before falling to the ground and being awarded a free kick. Fabinho was both penalized and in pain after Messi’s dangerous blow.Also in the Champions League that season, Argentine superstar had a situation of falling in the penalty area in the match against Dortmund but could not escape the referee’s eyes. The situation took place in the 52nd minute of the match between Barcelona and Dortmund in Group F of the Champions League. Lionel Messi broke through a series of yellow-shirted players, before falling in the away team’s restricted area. Referee Clement Turpin immediately blew the whistle. However, instead of giving the host a penalty, he gave Messi a yellow card for diving. VAR stepped in and confirmed that “El Pulga” fell without any impact from goalkeeper Roman Burki and defender Raphael Guerreiro. Messi reacted violently but referee Turpin did not change his decision.