Messi’s return normalizes expectation

I once read a quote that said “If you win once, people might call it luck, but if you win twice you may prove them wrong.” On the other hand, losing has also got equal and opposite impact. What adverse effect would happen by continuously losing on a big stage? Subsequent losses have proved be traumatizing for a player’s career; we have a recent story.

Setting aside the debate in the context of Ronaldo and Messi—where I have a sincere consent that both of them have enormous talent and conquered indefinite glory—I still believe that Messi as a footballer who would never do something very silly on the pitch. I always enjoyed watching Messi, who I perceived synonymous to the word ‘simplicity’. He did things that look like no-big-deal; what I mean is that he wouldn’t script a moment to make it dramatic. To me, he was plain.

The day after The Copa America finals was about just one thing; “Messi retires”. I tried to contemplate over the shocking news that followed the defeat for Argentines. It all made sense—understanding the intensity of frustration inside the player’s mind—though it made me smirk. I thought it was a genuine feeling that sounded like “I couldn’t let my nation down anymore”. He readily shrugged off the baton of expectations in order to save the disappointment from his fans; for real good. It had a sense of credibility but looked naive as well.

The decision might have shocked every one of us but we all knew that it’s not going to last for long time. We were right; and now we have him back, sooner than expected. This time, the decision—yet seemingly laughable—will do more good than harm. Earlier, he was expected to win every single match—which is reasonable for a player of such high caliber and—having your team perform so well and making it to the finals for three times in three major tournaments over the last 3 years; unbelievable. But now, these expectations surrounding Messi are normalized. We know the potential inside this player but also we understand what to expect of him. He had already proved everyone of his individual brilliance but in the scale of triumphs how much would a national team trophy weigh?

Messi might have taken the upper cut criticism straight in his face but he wanted to give a good fight again. The question is how many rounds will he last? Looking forward.

 

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