In Messi I believe!

Messi is destined to become the greatest player in the world but fate seems to be on Germany's side this time.

Shehan Rayer July 12, 2014
It has been a long time coming. Since Euro 2008, the Germans have been hovering around the edges of supremacy. Their only crime being that Spain, forever the underachievers had been pegged by fate as its darling. What Jürgen Klinsman started at World Cup 2006 resulted in a finals defeat to the Spanish in Euro 2008, a semi-final defeat to the same opposition at South Africa 2010 and the Italians in the semi-finals of Euro 2012.

This time, however, the Spanish have been vanquished by their own doing. The once-famed Brazilians have been annihilated in an absurd seven minute stretch of play that will linger on as a scar on the creators of the beautiful game for decades to come. All that stands in the way of the well-oiled German machine is undoubtedly the greatest player of our generation, Lionel Messi, and the man mountain who has his back for club and country, Javier Mascherano. In theory, Argentina should equate to far more than the sum of these two parts; however, to date in this tournament, this reality has failed to transpire.

Javier Mascherano. Photo: Reuters

Joachim Low’s Germany are the favourites – make no mistake about this. To the casual observer, it may then seem apparent that all the pressure is on Philipp Lahm and his compatriots to finally come good but that would belie an ignorance of what a finals victory would mean for Messi. There is a popular saying in Argentina; perhaps some of you have noticed it on the placards held aloft by the supporters,
“Francis is pope, Messi is king, Maradona is god.”

Lionel Messi. Photo: Reuters

While his achievements for Barcelona may outshine those of Diego Maradona’s club career, greatness is only truly bestowed upon those fortunate few who hold aloft football’s greatest prize. For all his Golden Boots, World Footballer of the Year awards, ridiculous dribbles and accompaniment of goals, the shadow of Maradona’s World Cup victory in 1986 still looms over the diminutive Argentinean.

It makes no difference that Diego went on to bring the game disrepute and shame after he was caught doping not once but twice – the second time in the midst of the World Cup in the United States. He captained his country to victory in 1986 and won the golden boot while doing it and for that Messi will always suffer in comparison; at least in the eyes of his compatriots.

Diego Maradona. Photo: Reuters

Since the age of Maradona and Pele, there have been many pretenders, yet there is significant belief that it is Messi’s destiny to eclipse these two icons, and stand aloft as the greatest footballer the world has ever seen.

For now, it seems as though fate could trump destiny. The Germans will arrive in Rio as confident as they have ever been. Thomas Müller is on fire, Miroslav Klose is now the record holder for goals scored at World Cup finals, Manuel Neuer and Mats Hummels are the rocks at the back and we haven’t even given any thought to Sami Khedira, Mesut Ozil, Lahm and company. All of this versus a player who didn’t have a single touch in the penalty area in the semi final with the Dutch.

National soccer team players of Germany pose for team photographs before the start of the 2014 World Cup Group G soccer match against Ghana at the Castelao arena in Fortaleza June 21, 2014. Photo: Reuters

Fate seems more guaranteed of success this Sunday night. It seems only inevitable, while destiny appears more filled with promise that may or may not come to pass. However greatness is defined by those individuals who solely believe that fate has brought them to this moment and that destiny demands of them this service. Messi may not be enough on Sunday but make no mistake about it, we are in for one heck of a show.

Final prediction: Head says Germany, heart says Argentina.

Conclusion: In Messi I believe.

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Shehan Rayer Former writing enthusiast turned journalist turned Radio Jockey; still a writing enthusiast and a Radio Jockey. He tweets @ShehanRayer (
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.

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Farheen | 5 years ago | Reply | Recommend I am also supporting Argentina and i believe in Messi
Muhammad Khan | 5 years ago | Reply | Recommend @Author Don't you see whats happening to the children of Gaza ? You have enough free time to write on this rubbish topic !
Syed Mubeen Hussain Sabzwari | 5 years ago and u have free time to comment on it!
sameed | 5 years ago why don't you write about the children of gaza? you shouldnt have read it in the first place. everyone has different priorities, grow up and stop being a dictator.
Maximus Decimus Meridius | 5 years ago @ Muhammad Khan I see that you are trying to troll but please keep in mind the trolling etiquette. 1) Please do not use sensitive issues to troll like you have just used, these will result in you appearing a callous human being of low intelligence as you are appearing to be now. 2) when you are trolling try to do so on an article where some comments have already been posted. Posting the first comment as troll will lead to a hefty amount of troll bashing that you are receiving now 3) Try to make at least 10 comments before you start trolling. You have so far made only 2 comments on ET and both have been troll comments aimed at the writer of the blog. try to change that. Too long didnt read? >> you have made only 2 comments on Et so far which are both very bad and totally fail troll comments , try to improve your trolling or you will get served.
Kiran | 5 years ago So why don't you go to Palestine and fight for your brothers/sisters or better still go to every single country in the World where bloodshed id taking place, so whether that would be Kashmir, Palestine, Syria, Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Balochistan...Need I go on further? I'm sure the author is just as upset about what is going on in Palestine but writing articles isn't going to change much, instead of calling his chosen topic rubbish, Why don't you go and donate most of your money and income to Palestine seeing as you can't see them suffering...Please get off your high horse and go actually DO something productive for Palestine rather than comment on someone else's work with nothing productive to say.
Saad | 5 years ago Then what are you doing reading a blog based on sports? Why aren't you outside protesting and donating to the children of Gaza instead of sitting and lurking around the internet? Yes it is sad whats going on right now, but it doesn't stop the world from moving on.
anonymous | 5 years ago Don't you see what's happening to the children of Gaza amd still u have enough time to read such rubbish topics at tribune?
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