Working hard? Correcting your mistakes consciously? Guillem Balague’s biography “Messi” makes it clear that that is not at all what the Argentinian is all about. Fooling around and playing foot tennis, that is what Messi did with his brothers Rodrigo and Matías. Messi could walk at 9 months old. His father remembers that Lionel took the ball from Rodrigo, one of his other sons, during a Rondo. ‘Messi threw himself at his brother’s feet in a flash and got hold of the ball. We looked at each other in surprise. No one had taught him this. It came naturally.’
Little Lionel Messi went to the shop for his mother with the ball at his feet. And he refused to go to sleep without a ball at his bed end. When all the other kids had gone inside, he hung around, playing with the ball at the gate. So Messi made his hours playing football, probably more than the 10,000 hours needed according to Anders Ericsson’s scientific studies. But contrary to the recipe that the American scientist prescribes, he did not practice with purpose.
His coach yells at him: ‘Pass the ball’. But Messi does not listen, fortunately
Messi hardly ever passed the ball to a teammate, as young football players are told to do prescribed. Not even when the boys at the schoolyard went to the teacher to complain: ‘Miss, he doesn’t want to pass the ball.’ The coaches he had when he was young also instructed him to start passing the ball around, but fortunately they gave up when they saw what he was capable of with the ball at his feet. He was born in the right country. According to biographer Balague, many Argentines have a boundless admiration for dribbling players deep in their harts heart.
Messi gets the chance to keep dribbling endlessly, just as the former Dutch football skills guru Wiel Coerver has advocated. As a five-year-old, Messi gets to join the big boys of Grandoli, after his grandmother nagged the coach long enough. He gets the ball and starts the slaloms that he is famous for today.
His youth coach Salvador Aparicio yells at him: ‘Pass the ball’. But Messi does not listen, scores twice and is allowed to participate for the rest of the season. Grandoli, the club where Messi played from the age of five to seven, become champions. Adrian Coria sends him home once because he doesn’t want to hand over the ball during during a practice session , but he feels sorry for him right after that and lets him come back to the field anyway.
On videos from those days, one can see little Messi. We recognize today’s dribbler. Youth coach Adrián Coria says: ‘Everything he does on the field, the way he touches the ball, his intelligence the way he goes down with his head, he did all that when he was 12 inches shorter and 20 pounds lighter. ” Yet there are of course also big differences. The resistance of the defenders that Messi now faces is incomparable. Step by step, the pressure on his dribbles has increased when he was growing up. Step by step, the level of difficulty has been increased in the environment wherein he moves about.