As years tick by during the career of a footballer, there is a gradual decline that will start to form at some point. Often seen when a player enters their 30s, there will be some skills that are just not at the same level. Pace, power and stamina could all be affected. However, one individual who is certainly not at that point just yet is Lionel Messi, and he continues to drive Barcelona towards success.
Along with the physical tools, motivation is an important aspect for any professional. Fighting to be the best and win can truly be fuel for what is ahead, and that is an area that one could assume may affect Messi. The Argentine forward has accomplished almost everything there is to achieve in the game, lifting a record number of titles at the Camp Nou. Now at 31, perhaps these two categories might combine to see him slow down.
But Barça fans are being shown that this is definitely not the case.
Leo Messi: “This fifth Golden Shoe was only possible thanks to my teammates, family and those who support me. Thanks to everyone for always being there for me and also to MARCA and ESM for such a special awards ceremony!” pic.twitter.com/hJ3sPdZS2A
— Quotes on Messi 💭 (@MessiQuote) December 18, 2018
After Barcelona’s league and cup double last term, Messi spoke out about the importance of capturing the UEFA Champions League trophy early in 2018-19. The passion behind that speech was evidenced by his spectacular play in the group stage and guiding the Blaugrana to the knockout rounds.
In the recent Ballon d’Or voting, Messi finished fifth in the rankings, something that caused more than a bit of confusion when examining his production. He has clearly found motivation in that perceived injustice, and Levante recently were at the wrong end of his destructive magic.
A 5-0 thrashing at the Estadio Ciudad de Valencia followed, as Messi netted a hat-trick and assisted on the other two goals. Even considering that the gifted forward is slowing down does not appear to be a wise move.
Barcelona are in a strong position for another treble at this point. They have the talent and the depth to be able to reach that lofty aspiration. Manager Ernesto Valverde will require his star players to be at their very best in the second half of the campaign. You can guarantee that Lionel Messi will somehow go above and beyond expectations.