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Paksi SE V Ferencvárosi TC, Mar 20
Ordaye (Liverpool) 6 years ago
Throughout the pages of time we have been treated to some of the greatest players to grace a football pitch. These players are widely regarded as heroes, the closest we have come to realising our childhood dreams of Superman, Spiderman, or Batman.

So exceptional are their exhibitions of extraordinary talent and skill that they have been elevated to legendary status as fathers nostalgically tell their sons where they were in 1958 when a 17-year-old Pele deftly flicked and then volleyed home against Sweden or in 1986 when Diego Maradona wove through the England national team. They make seasoned defenders who have devoted their lives to becoming lauded professionals at their respective positions look like nothing more than panicked children - and not just once or twice, but with stunning regularity.

Maradona, Pele, Di Stefano, Beckenbauer, Platini, Baggio, Cruyff, and many more players whose last names alone are sufficient in jogging fond memories were, without a doubt, legends of their time. But fuelled by the power and riches of global commercialisation, the modern age of football now boasts defenders that are bigger, faster, stronger, more skilled, and more tactically intelligent than those that faced players of even 10 or 15 years ago. Today, players are developed from every end of the earth and the football talent pool has become an ocean of players who have become much more specialised in their trade. One wonders if such last names would have been so easily recognised in today’s game.

Today we have our own legends - contemporary idols the likes of Zinedine Zidane, Ronaldo, Thierry Henry, Ronaldinho, Kaka, Wayne Rooney, and Cristiano Ronaldo who have climbed to the height of footballing glory. But while there is no denying what these players have contributed in their careers in making football look like a beautiful dance, there is one player who, despite only being 22 years old, is beginning to tower above them all.

Ironically, that towering figure was originally thought to be too small for competitive football because of a growth hormone deficiency. Standing at just 1. 69 m (5 ft 7 in), Barcelona’s Lionel Messi has become the face of footballing legend. Where Zeus was the god of the sky, Poseidon the god of the sea, Hades the god of the Underworld, and Apollo the god of the sun, the ancient Greeks, given the choice of players in history until today, would have chosen Messi as their God of football

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