On Top Of The World, With His Feet On The Ground
January 08, 2013

Well, he’s done it again. Not Charlie Sheen. Lionel Messi. He’d just won the FIFA Ballon d'Or award, the World Player of the Year, for the fourth time in a row. More than any other player in the history of the game. Pele and Maradona can argue ‘til the cows come home.

I don’t think many would expect any other result given the staggering 91 goals he’d scored in 69 games, surpassing Gerd Muller’s 40-year-old record. I can’t score that many goals playing FIFA '13 by myself in two-player mode. Also in 2012, Messi was the first player to score five goals in a Champions League game and became Barcelona’s all-time scoring record holder with 289 goals. (Bloody hell.)

All of these incredible achievements aside, one trait that puts him in a class of his own is his humility. At only 24, Messi had already won five La Liga titles and three Champions League trophies. But every time he’s on the mic, he can never stop mentioning his teammates.

I was just starting my first job at the age of 24, trying to impress everyone at the office. If you give me four Ballon d’Ors at the time, I’d have them remolded into miniature trophies so that I can bring them everywhere I go. I’d purposely leave them in my pocket as I go through the metal detector, let the thing beep, and apologize for the prized medals I have dangling in my pants.

So I guess it’s a good thing that I didn’t win the World Player of the Year award four times in a row. Because I would’ve been so boastful I’d make Kanye West look like he hates himself.

On that note, well done Leo. May you continue inspire people to keep their feet on the ground by winning more awards and pissing Cristiano Ronaldo off.


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Photography by Azalia Suhaimi

  • Asrif, b. 1983
  • Subang Jaya, Malaysia
  • asrifomar[@]gmail[.]com
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