Messi did steal the show tonight, but it’s true that the entire Barcelona team should also be credited for the convincing win over Bayern Munich. Right from the start Barcelona was pressuring and pestering Bayern all over the pitch. Bayern never looked comfortable and didn’t even have a shot on target all night. Yes, Messi’s goals were brilliant, but it required the entire team to dismantle Bayern Munich like that. Everyone knew Barcelona had been playing at top form, but Bayern was considered arguably the best club in the world coming into this game. After tonight’s though, it’s clear who the best club in the world is right now. And Messi is the unquestioned leader of that club.
I prefer to win titles with the team ahead of individual awards or scoring more goals than anyone else.
~ Lionel Messi, 10 March 2012
The four time Balon d’Or winner prefers the glory achieved as team over his individual accomplishments. Would he really be the same without Xavi, Iniesta, and Barcelona?
If there’s one characteristic all players have it’s precisely that. They all have that gene, that competitiveness, the ability to overcome obstacles, to fight, a willingness to sacrifice. It might look easy to reach the top and stay there, to play for your country and win things, but it isn’t. All players that have achieved those things have that: the big ones, the small ones, the good-looking ones, the ugly ones, the nice ones, the not so nice ones … they all have that will to succeed.
~ Andres Iniesta, 9 Nov 2012
I think this genius is impossible to describe. That’s why he is a genius. He has instinct. He loves to live with pressure. He is one of the best ever created.
Pep Guardiola on Messi in NY Times interview, May 21, 2011.
Photo: “Lionel Messi” Series of Paintings by Kubo Cup Brazil 2014
My mind went blank and I couldn’t think of what to say. All the same, I’d like to dedicate this award to my family.
~ Lionel Messi, 7 January 2013
Messi wins his fourth consecutive Ballon d’Or. The little Maestro isn’t a great quote machine, but who cares? His genius is on the pitch and it is a privilege to watch the greatest player ever in his prime.