Continuing with the lessons Lionel Messi has taught, this one is about: Loving what you do, wholeheartedly. Lionel Messi’s love for football shows he doesn’t belong to this planet. He owns what he loves which is a lesson for success for many.
Messi is an epitome of goodness that comes out from his love and passion for the game. The skills he displays on the football field were never displayed before and as per pessimists; might never be showcased in Camp Nou again. He is an ardent performer, a mad-keen footballer, a fervid player, and a zealous sportsman.
Football is deep-rooted in Lionel Andrés Messi. Nothing stopped him from pursuing his dreams and becoming one of the greatest footballers of this era. Do you ever wonder what made him chase his passion vehemently and achieve the goals successfully? The answer to this question is Lionel Messi’s love for football. He loves what he does and owns it candidly giving an important lesson to learn!
“What I do is play soccer, which is what I like.”
– Lionel Messi
When somebody loves what they do, the results are naturally exceptional. Messi, when exhibits his talent on the football pitch, his love for the game can be felt. The way he looks at the ball before scoring a tough goal demonstrates that every ounce of energy left in him will be devoted to this kick: it shows passion, fierceness, and commitment.
Messi’s love for the club
La Pulga’s love is not limited to the game alone, it is profoundly extended to the club he plays for: FC Barcelona. This love is symbiotic. Fc Barcelona is the main character in Messi’s story. Many people believe that Barcelona is nothing without Messi and Messi will be nothing without Barcelona.
Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images
Lionel Messi’s love for his club and the game made him the backbone of Cules. He worked enthusiastically to polish his skills and lift his team to incomparable greatness and dominance in the footballing world. Barcelona is not just a club for him, it is the platform that brought the best out of him. It is the stage where he performs and displays his supernatural talents. Given the fact that he left his home, his friends, and his country to come to an entirely different place and for the greatest club of that time teaches us a lesson that when you love something devotedly, it will come running to you. After signing his first contract on a used napkin, Barcelona’s number ten never looked back. Over the years, he set a legacy at Camp Nou to be followed for years to come.
A love story to cherish
It is the love for the game as well as for his team that Messi fervently gave all his talents and peak years to FC Barcelona. He is one of the very few footballers who can be labeled as a one-club man. Undeniably, there’s no team in the world that doesn’t want this ‘Alien’ in their team. Various clubs tried to break this inextricable relationship of Messi with Catalans by presenting tempting offers, but love won every time as the captain never for once pay heed to the criticism for wasting his time at Camp Nou whenever the club faced tough times.
Having said this, the unmatchable Leo & Barca love story has all the basic chronicles of an intense love affair; hurt, tragedy, tears, obstacles. Recent times made this love story a bit sour though, leaving the masses to suspect a potential breakup in the coming times. Conversely, keeping in view all that Leo has given up for Barca, fans are hopeful that the club will overlook its bad decisions to create an ideal situation for their talisman to stay. Well, hope is a dangerous thing, the only option for now!
What matters the most is no matter how crucial the circumstances are, the focus of Lionel Messi remains there and is proven in the 2019/2020 season. It was the worst season for the Barcelona star so far thus, the Alien magic still managed to break a couple of records leaving the fans in awe of him! This has been made possible because a thousand words can’t describe Messi’s love and faith in what he does which is why the Spanish dictionary included a new word: “Inmessionante” which means “1. A perfect way to play football, an unlimited capacity for self-improvement. 2. Describes the best player of all time.”
Hence, Lionel Andres Messi teaches all of us another lesson; do what you love having a firm belief in what you and when the circumstances are odd, do it more passionately with some extra love and faith. The world is out there to let us down, but the faith and passion of Lionel Messi is a beam of light for dark paths when the confidence is losing and belief is shaking.
The psychology at Barcelona: A leaf out of Jurgen Klopp’s book
Guest Contributor: Darren Looney
“When I came here, the size of the club was a burden. Now it’s our safety net, it’s our trampoline, it’s our home, it’s our basis, it’s everything to us. Now we are Liverpool before the club was Liverpool and we were just the guys who were trying to be good enough”.
In Melissa Reddy’s book ‘Believe Us’, Jurgen Klopp, the man who led Liverpool to become champions of England, Europe and the world, details how a change in psychology from having the clubs past success being used as a noose around their necks to becoming fully confident individuals, helped the club end their 30-year wait for a league title.
FC Barcelona has a noose of its own hanging over the Camp Nou at present. It has been placed there by former president Josep Maria Bartomeu, having left the club in a state that is unable to match the success seen over the last two decades.
The incoming president and manager will be the ones left to cut it free, and with limited economic resources to do this, a change in the mindsets of the lads could play a part in helping the club get the most out of what they already have.
Barcelona’s current state
The Josep Maria Bartomeu’s presidency oversaw a circus rather than a football club. In this timeframe, Barcelona lost the respect of its fellow European giants through humiliating performances in the Champions League, selling Neymar Jr. to Paris Saint Germain, poor recruitment, and a squad constantly breaking under pressure.
Players such as Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Gerard Pique, Clement Lenglet, Jordi Alba, Sergio Busquets, Lionel Messi, and Ousmane Dembele, of those that started in the latest Champions League match, have all been through the most of these embarrassing moments, which has no doubt left some trauma.
Others in the squad have laid witness to Bartomeu disregarding the club’s motto ‘MÉS QUE UN CLUB’ with his handling of club legends Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi’s transfer situations in the summer. That could not have inspired the non-senior members of the squad with any confidence.
Adding to that, players like Ousmane Dembele, Philippe Coutinho, Junior Firpo, and Antoine Griezmann have had their names constantly attached to rumoured player plus cash deals, such as the Neymar offers, which can lead to them questioning if they are good enough. This is the sort of psychology you do not want around a club trying to compete.
When asked about whether a sports psychologist would benefit FC Barcelona back in December, Barça manager Ronald Koeman stated, “I don’t believe in psychologists and mental [issues]. If you play for Barca, pressure exists, you know that, and you have to overcome it”.
This answer shows the Dutchman’s ignorance of the importance of a player’s psychological state. Additionally, it also shows arrogance about the club and the stress that comes binding with it. Ignorance that is evident in the pictures of Lenglet, as he left the Camp Nou after Sunday’s match in tears, most likely due to a lack of support. The kind of lack of support that eventually leads to careers dissolving.
In the same press conference, Koeman stated that “this team has enough personality and experience” to get through bad moments. This “experience” is also susceptible to being psychologically overwhelmed, the dressing room at halftime at Anfield is evidence of this.
Whether it is Koeman or the next president’s manager, one will have to get a hold of this problem. Luckily for them, the blueprint of how much power the manager can have over this can be seen in the place Jordi Alba shed his tears.
The Jurgen Klopp effect
When Jurgen Klopp arrived in Liverpool, one of the first things he addressed was a change in psychology from the supporters. He wanted the fans to believe in the process, and in his first press conference, he enforced this by saying, “we need to feel the confidence and trust of the people”.
In ‘Believe Us’, Klopp speaks about the psychological state he found the players in when he first arrived. He claims that “The players were obviously listening to all the voices saying they are not good enough for the club or that I can’t wait to get rid of them.” A situation some Barca players find themselves in now, as mentioned earlier.
One of the German’s first instructions was for the players to pay no attention to comments outside of him and his coaching staff, a message that took longer than expected to resonate, as the team collapsed in the title race halfway through the next season.
Klopp explains that the collapse was down to the players not complying with this request. The German explained how the players were focused on people saying, “they don’t have a plan B for deep-defending sides, they can only play one way”. A criticism that Cúlers this season know too well.
Klopp emphasises the importance a strong mentality within games had on the Red’s fortunes and claims new players alone would not have been enough. This is a note worth taking for those looking at Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe to change Barcelona’s fortunes.
It took Klopp years to convince some players that they were good enough to play for a club as big as Liverpool. New players added to the quality of the squad but that psychological attitude to keep going for the full 90 minutes, no matter the score, is what led the club to their recent success. This was visible countless times over last season as well, as Pool continued to take hits at teams till the last minute till they eventually broke. Barcelona, too, have been on the receiving end of their incredible mentality.
Koeman might be right in that the players do not need a sports psychologist. However, Lenglet’s incident exhibits that the psychological state of his players is something that he must take control of and not ignore.
Next season has the potential to be an important one for Barcelona’s near future. With a new president at the helm and a potential new manager. The Catalan side needs to banish the psychological doubts leftover by Bartomeu’s reign and move forward as one unit.
The fans and players need to get behind the project put in place, as Jurgen Klopp puts it “when you agree on a common idea and work towards it together, you can create something special”.