Scoring two goals against Arsenal in the Champions League means one of the following two things:
- You’ve covered a lot of distance to find yourself in the right place and time
- You’re Lionel Messi
Andres Iniesta, an attacking midfielder with less to none defending assignments covered 11.4km in the game against Arsenal.
Lionel Messi covered 8.4km, and that’s less than any other player on the field (including the Arsenal squad).
Ronaldo covered double the amount of Leo Messi in the Champions League last season.
Before we continue with explaining why Messi can walk and still score, assist and dribble, let’s take a look at the highlights versus the Arsenal game:
You can rarely see Messi chasing and pressing defenders, or getting back on corners and marking a player.
This can be a little frustrated for every Barca fan out there, especially when the team is chasing a result.
That’s why we have a list of five things to justify why Leo is being below average in something related to a football game!
- He is a human after all
His skills are out of this world, and his football vision as well. But that doesn’t makes him an alien. He is just the most talented football player we’ve ever seen.
Which leads us to the number one reason why Messi is running less than his teammates.
Did you know that the brain consumes more oxygen than the heart? And the number one activity that uses up the most oxygen from our body is running.
If Messi was assigned defending tasks, he wouldn’t be able to dribble past 3 or even 4 defenders as easily as he’s doing it now.
Don’t get us wrong, there’s no doubt about his talent and skills. But if he uses all of his energy on chasing players and defending, he wouldn’t be as lethal as he is now.
Just take a look at this compilation of nutmegs:
Messi uses his brain to precisely humiliate world class defenders. The size of his leg muscles don’t matter that much.
On top of that, he likes to start and finish every game. He even plays the friendlies (the whole 90 minutes)!
Dribbling is all about details. If you make your move a second later (or earlier), you lose the ball. It’s not like all he ever does is dribble.
He likes to find the perfect position to make his move. But if you want to be aware of your opponent’s position, you need to slow down and observe.
That’s what Messi does.
He moves from left to right, and even returns to his own half to collect the ball if needed. He makes a few passes, gets in the right position and crates chances.
- The element of surprise
It’s easier for defenders to mark a moving target, especially if the player is fast. This sounds silly, but when a defender is marking a moving target, he can always make a tackle even if it is a clear foul.
But when a player like Messi is just walking around the field being marked by a defender, he can simply fake a run on one side, and make a run on the opposite side.
This gives him a huge advantage, because his acceleration is mind-blowing!
He can achieve his full speed in matter of seconds, even with the ball at his feet.
Did you know that Aaron Lennon and Antonio Valencia are faster than Messi? But have you seen Lennon or Valencia dribbling pass 3 or 4 defenders?
Of course not!
Don’t get frustrated the next time you see Messi walking on the pitch. He’s just waiting for the right moment to turn his best mode on!