If you’ve ever wondered “What position does Lionel Messi play?”, the answer might as well be Anywhere he pleases. And while this may sound absurd, there’s also a dose of truth in that claim. Of course, since the Argentinian is not a utility player, but primarily an attacker, it’s impossible to think of Messi as someone who acts as a defender in any scenario.
With that being said, Messi could cover almost any attacking position on the pitch, playing mainly as a right winger, center-forward, or second striker, depending on the role.
A proper attacker
The world of football can be a labyrinth of complexities, particularly when we delve into the elaborate world of attacking positions. An attacking player’s role isn’t confined by well-defined boundaries; it’s a dynamic responsibility that requires versatility, agility, and a dash of ingenuity – this is where Messi shines. His genius lies not only in his ability to execute the role of a traditional forward but also to redefine it. That’s why there aren’t that many “Messiesque” players in the world – it’s really hard to copy someone as unique as the Argentina captain.
Barcelona and Pep Guardiola
During his tenure at Barcelona, under the guidance of Pep Guardiola, Messi’s career hit a somewhat astronomical trajectory. Guardiola, understanding the amount of creativity he had in Messi, decided to redefine his position on the pitch. Messi, initially known for his mesmerizing runs from the wings, was transitioned into a ‘False 9’ role. Something we’ve already talked about. He became a phantom forward, drawing defenders and creating space for his teammates to exploit, all the while maintaining his goal-scoring ability. As you probably already know, the results were nothing short of revolutionary.
A change of pace
Like any great football player, Messi has never shied away from change. As time took its inevitable toll, his playing style adapted to the subtle shifts in his physical prowess. No longer the inexhaustible dribbler that constantly dashed down the pitch, Messi matured into a, you could even say, universal attacking midfielder, controlling the game through insightful passes and strategic maneuvering. His uncanny understanding of the game showcases a player who has embraced the inevitability of age, using experience as an ally rather than viewing it as a limitation.
Examples of players occupying similar parts of the pitch
There are other notable names that have had similar roles – from Johan Cruyff to Francesco Totti, Mohamed Salah, and to some extent, even Messi’s long-time rival, Cristiano Ronaldo. However, none have displayed the same consistency that Messi has showcased throughout his career. In the realm of football, Messi stands in a league of his own.
Coming to America
In a surprising turn of events, Messi recently joined Inter Miami in Major League Soccer, a decision that has sent waves of anticipation throughout the American football scene. The MLS, despite being often seen as a sunset league for European veterans, is poised to experience a huge shift with Messi’s arrival.
But what impact can Messi have on the MLS? Even at 35, Messi’s skillset is quite rich: his precision passing, creative vision, and seemingly supernatural goal-scoring abilities make him a formidable presence on the pitch. He may not possess the same amount of stamina as in his early days, but Messi has more than just skill in his arsenal; he has the wisdom of a seasoned veteran, a trait that is bound to impact the league significantly. His presence isn’t just about adding star power to the MLS – it’s about inspiring a new generation of American players and fans.
The States over Saudi Arabia
In the early spring days of 2023, we’ve seen an interesting trend in the world of football as aging superstars reach the sunset of their careers. Messi has chosen to cross the Atlantic and contribute to the evolution of MLS in the United States. Others, though, have been lured by the growing prestige of the Saudi Arabian Pro League. The MLS, often seen as a sanctuary for retiring European players, is on the brink of a new era, largely thanks to Messi’s move. On the other hand, the Saudi Arabian league, flush with financial power and ambitious expansion plans, has also managed to attract an impressive roster of star players.
Yet, Messi’s decision to opt for MLS over the Saudi Arabian Pro League speaks volumes about his vision, both for his career and for football’s future in America.
In conclusion, trying to pin Messi to a single positional description is quite hard – he simply isn’t a cookie-cutter player. He is an ever-evolving sportsman and a mentor whose lessons resonate both on and off the pitch. His journey with Inter Miami celebrates a new chapter in an already extraordinary career, and one thing remains certain: wherever Messi plays, the game is sure to be elevated.