Ever wonder what the reflection of perfection looked like? With his performance against Bayer Leverkusen, Lionel Messi has proven why he stands alone as the best pound for pound soccer player in the world. “Leo,” as he is known all over Barcelona, is the kind of player you have nightmares about trying to defend.  No matter how good you are, he is going to dismantle you, and that’s on a bad day when he has a calf strain…and he’s partially blind in one eye.  Messi’s recent masterpiece came during a UEFA Champions League match against Bayer Leverkusen in which the Messiah humiliated opposing defenders with 5 goals. The most impressive part of the highlight was that he wasn’t even breaking a sweat.

In this day of age where every sport adopts the mantra, “bigger, stronger, faster,” Messi tortures defenders who at times may be a clear foot taller than him, while he stands a diminutive 5’6”, weighing around 150 lbs. Being this size doesn’t bother Messi, as a child he was always the smallest kid, so he focused on control and agility as he believed he was built for that style of play. He may not look like the typical athlete but watching him is like poetry in motion when it comes to controlling and scoring with a soccer ball. With a focus on technique and speed, his brilliance is seen with his disregard towards a defense’s game plan to stop him. Clearly it’s working.  He has help won multiple championships with Barcelona over the years, and he looks to add another UEFA Championship to the mantle this season.

Even with all of his success, some doubt Messi will ever reach ‘Legend’ status. Former Brazil striker Ronaldo agrees that Messi is an excellent player, but will only become a legend once he can claim a FIFA World Cup, a la Zidane and Maradona.  What may be the most impressive stat for Messi is at 24 years old he has only just begun his campaign to be the best there ever was.  So for the moment he is simply the best there is with milestone after milestone of achievements; ranging from the Ballon d’Or to FIFA World Player of the Year. And in this moment, when you’re the greatest soccer player in the world today your name transcends the sport.  You become synonymous with greatness.  So now, when an up and coming player has a great game.  They don’t call you great, they call you “Lionel Messi.”

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