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Lessons to learn from Lionel Andrés Messi: Never give up

Maha Naeem Khan



Header Image by David Ramos via Getty Images

Lionel Messi has produced unthinkable miracles on the pitch, but his achievements, acts and story have taught people many lessons. The first: to never give up.

33 years ago, there was a cleaner and a factory worker in Argentina; Jorge Messi. He became the father on 24 June 1987 of a slightly different child and named his son Lionel Andrés Messi Cuccittini. Jorge wasn’t aware at that time how lucky he was going to be later in life as the circumstances were another way round initially.


Lionel Messi wasn’t born with a silver spoon in his mouth but he surely came in this world with a fate people envy. Football being his childhood love, he stepped into his career in 1995 at Newell’s Old Boys in Rosario, Argentina. The eight years old was the best player among others. He was born to be a star and a revolutionist in the footballing world.

Growth Hormonal Deficiency  

Messi was not like other children; he was passionate, devoted, and zealous from the beginning until the hormonal disease became a major hindrance for him. A game like a football needs an immense amount of energy and stamina but that’s where the trouble began when this little boy was diagnosed with growth deficiency hormone at the age of 11 years.

This was a matter of serious concern for his family as they didn’t have enough resources for his treatment. As a result, his growth was stunted. His passion for football became riskier.

However, the sky is the limit for the Argentine national. Where Messi’s parents were struggling with their limited resources, no team in Argentina was able to afford the medical expenses for his treatment. When everybody gave up, Messi thrived in adversity. He chose to bloom by not giving up on his dream and passion for football.

Coming to Barcelona

It was Messi’s thirst for playing football which attracted the greatest club of that time and 13 years old Messi was invited to Barcelona for they offered to train him at their youth academy: La Masía.

FC Barcelona also agreed to bear the medical expenses for their future number ten. Leo was so determined to achieve the goals that he left his family, friends, and the country to pursue his dream of hitting the highest ranks in football. The circumstances were formidable and the situation risker but Messi didn’t think twice before changing his lifestyle.

“It was not very difficult for me to come to Barcelona. I adapted quickly but my family did not. My siblings wanted to go back and they did. I was left alone with my father and he asked me ‘What should we do?’ I told him ‘I want to stay'”

Lionel Messi

Messi with his exceptional skills and passion surprised the Barcelona board during his trial and ended up signing his first contract on a piece of used napkin. That’s where the journey began and Messi’s love story with FC Barcelona started. 

Hurdles during his football journey

The path to glory wasn’t free of thorns for Barcelona’s number ten but with his willpower, he made the challenges his greatest motivation. He turned the obstacles into encouragement and trials into inspiration. His drive to do the best made him unstoppable.

Messi’s perseverance and hunger for football never let his motivation die. Owing to his short height he often gets trolled and faced a lot of criticism in the past because of his physical structure. For a normal football player, this appears as a key demotivating factor and a moment of self-pity but Messi twisted it into his strength and an extra boost to do better.

He proved that his unorthodox size is his greatest advantage as it allows him to change directions quickly and play at any position. This ability of him to play at an unmatched level of balance showed him as an exceptional player.  

Lionel Messi Barcelona lessons

While his unmatched talent has made everything seem easy, Lionel Messi did have to overcome many obstacles through his career | Photo by Gabriel Bouys / AFP via Getty Images

The Blaugrana captain made his first debut when he was 16 years old. At the inception, he plagued quite a several injuries which made the start of his career at FC Barcelona challenging. Even so, he didn’t give up. In October 2004, he appeared as the youngest player in his first LaLiga match at the age of 17.  Eventually, all impediments became short in front of the determination Messi had.

He unprecedently jumped from Barça C to Barça B and landed in the first team at the speed of light. At an early age of 20, he won his first prestigious Ballon d’Or award. He didn’t stop there and repeated this victory four times consecutively leaving the masses in awe of him. Those who used to criticise him started idolising, those who were mocking him found uttering awe-inspiring praise.

Overcoming hindrances

The victory was never enough for him; he always had a target to do better next time. His illustrious performances never took a toll on him and that’s why his desire to perform better never left his side. He became the outstanding goal scorer and with his phenomenal skills, he brought five titles for FC Barcelona in the 2014/15 season. 

Having said all of this, things weren’t quite favorable for La Pulga lately. Circumstances were uglier than ever before in the recent past. The fiasco and news of Messi leaving FC Barcelona gave birth to speculations of Messi giving up the very first time in his life. This was a moment to ponder and disappointment for many but the talisman once again turned the tragedy into calmness with his ability to take the right decision.


The boy who was at the risk of losing his career before it started, became the greatest footballer of all times: all this happened because he chose to flourish and never gave up. Giving up has never been an option for him and this is an inspiration that everybody needs to have in their life.

The fast-moving contemporary life and strong competition in every aspect have made life quite difficult. However, Messi’s rule of not giving up is a key lesson to success during odd times. Whether it is professional or personal, how Lionel Messi achieved his dreams with persistence and determination gives a message that no amount of obstacles can stop anyone to hit the goals if the willpower is strong.

Being an occasional painter, I admire art and colors. When I first saw Lionel Messi spreading his spectrum of colours on the canvas of Camp Nou, I fell in love. Barcelona was the first club I was ever introduced to and I ended up becoming an overly emotional Barca fan. Watching them play is a distraction for me from the chaotic world outside and writing about them is a distraction from the diverse emotions inside the world of FC Barcelona.



Can the ban to Messi turn out to be a blessing in disguise for Barcelona?

Adithya Eshwarla



Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Though the ban to Lionel Messi does seem terrifying news, a deeper thought suggests that it could be a blessing in disguise for Barcelona, opening up several avenues for Ronald Koeman to experiment.

Lionel Messi has made a name for breaking records for fun. Be it goals or assists or dribbles, he has the accolades decorating the walls of his quiet haven in Barcelona. On Sunday the Argentine found himself breaking yet another record, however, not one he would have relished too much.

The six-time Ballon d’Or award winner was sent off for the very first time in Barcelona’s famous Garnet and Blue. An unarguable offence involving a violent swing of the arm at Asier Villalibre was the incident that saw him earn the same. Consequently, a ban awarded will see Messi missing action in the upcoming two fixtures – namely against UE Cornella and Elche.

Though it does seem terrifying news, to begin with, a deeper thought suggests that it could indeed be a blessing in disguise for Ronald Koeman’s side. Temporarily so, though. Moreover, it could benefit both parties involved: the player and the team.

Sparing a scenario where he participates in Barcelona’s second-round fixture in the Copa del Rey, Leo will return to action once again against the side he received his marching orders against. The speculated return date is the 31st of January against Athletic Bilbao.

Having just come back from a muscle injury he picked up against Granada, the Argentine was far from his best in the Super Cup final. A red card was a miserable end to a painful night for him. It was evident that he was not ready to play. He pulled on through the night, almost till the very end before his patience caved in.

A miserable end to a disappointing night for Messi. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

A fit and ready Lionel Messi is one of the key cogs in Barcelona’s engine. Rushing the captain back from injury would not be wise either for the team or the player. Messi, at 33, needs to be managed efficiently yet cautiously. This includes embracing the fact that regaining rhythm after injuries will require a longer window. Bearing that in mind, a forced two-game hiatus could be exactly what he requires to return raging.

However, the absence of the La Liga top scorer will put more burden on the shoulders of €100 million club players Antoine Greizmann and Ousmane Dembele. The French duo can see this as the perfect opportunity to step up. It is the perfect chance to prove why exactly they do have a bright future at the club. The talisman’s absence provides Griezmann with exactly the position he considers his own, and enable him to take up the baton of scoring. It will be the ideal stage for him to dictate the play between the lines and orchestrate the proceedings.

Meanwhile, for a certain Dembele, it almost guarantees successive starts. The youngster is just beginning to find his rhythm at Catalonia, and he will be looking forward to making up for the absence of his captain.

The games Leo is set to miss are relatively low-pressure on paper. This could now tempt Koeman to push in youngsters and experiment with the forward line. The Copa del Rey fixture against Cornella could well see young Alex Collado and Konrad get deserved minutes.

While Collado has constantly been superb for the B team, Konrad has been patient on the bench for many games. The La Masia graduates deserve a chance in the top flight, and Messi’s suspension could give them a chance. Either way, both have made it to the squad list for the Kings’ Cup fixture.

Similarly, the opening up of a spot on the right-wing, an infrequent occurrence, could see chances given to Fransisco Trincao. The youngster has hardly got a sniff of a start so far, and the opening up of a spot in his natural position could be what it takes for him to earn a start.

The ban to Messi opens up a lot of avenues for players to prove themselves. (Photos via Getty and Imago)

Moreover, there is a certain aspect of this on the team as a whole. Coming back after a defeat poses its own range of challenges. Nonetheless, bouncing back after a defeat in the final of an event requires suturing of a much deeper and painful wound. Having Leo on the side is always a reassurance to his teammates on the field. However, his absence following a major defeat will be a real test of the sides resilience.

An individual effort will not suffice in the coming games. With the captain on the sidelines and the hounds of the traumatizing defeat set loose on them, the players will have to be on their toes. It will be a test for the coach, and one that examines the drive in the players. What could that be in the eyes of a true fan, if not a blessing in disguise.

The team is in dire need for motivation, and for a sense of confidence. Victories in two games without their talisman can provide the biggest boost in morale for all the players alike. As for his return, Messi will be looking to come back with a bang against Bilbao next week once his ban calls curtains


It is no secret that the club-captain’s presence would lift the spirits and confidence of all personnel involved. However, the ban to Messi benefits multiple parties in the given situation, himself included. It also provides the chance for the likes of other players to step up and take responsibility on the pitch when, namely the likes of Ousmane Dembele and Antoine Griezmann, among others. Alternatively, an empty spot in the team might force Ronald Koeman’s hand to give minutes to Konrad de la Fuente, Fransisco Trincao, and even Alex Collado. Will the side be able to cross the line? One really hopes so.

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