Sporting Life

The greatest athlete I've seen is Messi - what about you?

Lionel Messi can score in the dark. With a mask on his face. In his sleep. On Sunday against Real Madrid, just inside the box, he moves sideways with the ball but does not look up. Not a peek to map the geography of the goalkeeper. Not a glance in case he needs to adjust the geometry of his shot.

He does not look up even though he curls the ball into an impossibly tight space. His foot is superior to a marksman's rifle because in his case he's bending the bullet. The goalkeeper can't get there because Messi's talent is out of reach.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 08, 2018, with the headline 'The greatest athlete I've seen is Messi - what about you?'. Print Edition | Subscribe