One of the most memorable moments for me on facebook was the day I had an argument with one of my favorite friends there. It was our first real discussion, I think, and the topic was…you guessed it – Messi vs. Ronaldo! I’m an Arsenal fan (like you may already know) and my friend, being a Red Devil, naturally preferred Ronaldo. The year was 2009 and it was just a few months after CR7 won his first (and only…so far) World Footballer award.

I’ve liked Barca since I discovered they were a more effective version of Arsenal. Far better! I just loved the way they took ‘beautiful football’ to the zenith. As a result, Messi has always been my pick in the best-player-in-the-world debate. I dislike CR7. Yea, I said it! I’ve always done. From the EPL days. Main reason: I don’t like it when a player showboats unnecessarily just because he feels he’s the best. Then his nonsense pride kicks in more often than not. He couldn’t have been more different than Messi.

God, being merciful, made sure that we didn’t have to endure a full-length reign of CR7, which would have been the case in the absence of the Magical One. The boy’s very talented. Not even I can the deny the fact. He’s the closest thing we’ll get to Messi for now, probably until Neymar starts fulfilling his hype. But talent alone would only get you thus far, especially when pride kicks in.

Forgive my digression, this topic can be very emotional for me. Back to the facebook argument, needless to say, CR7 was the leading footballer at the time and my friend simply dismissed my argument with “…how many trophies and awards has he won compared to CR7?”, or a variation of that statement, to which my only response was “Let’s wait a few years and come back to discuss this…”, seeing as I had no basis for comparison at the time. CR7 was just crowned King of Football and ManU were the reigning Champions of Europe and on course for an unprecedented consecutive trophy. And those were few among his various accolades including myriads from the EPL.

Less than four years from that argument and there’s still no basis for comparison. Only this time, it’s the other way round. It’s only representative of ‘La Pulga’ over the years that he overturns perceived insurmountable odds with natural ease that one feels stupid to have initially thought they were impossible in the first place. As it stands, anyone will be forgiven to think that the boy will break the great Pele’s goal record well before his career ends. That’s the kind of belief he has brought to the game. At the moment, there’s no way to debate a CR7 vs. Messi topic again. There’s simply no comparing the two! Messi’s wayyyy ahead in everything!

Come to think of it, my argument that ‘facebook day’ was purely based on comparing their skills and I believed Messi was much better in application. He can dribble past one as easily as he can past six and you may not even notice until he’s done it. Before CR7 does one player, the whole world knows he’s about to clear the guy out of the way. And worse, he’s not as good at it as Ronaldinho (who, by the way, says he’s so happy to have played a part in Messi’s football life) and not as effective. One part of Ronaldo’s game that still earns him merit till today is his goal-scoring ability. But even on that, Messi trumps him carelessly!

At this point in time, I can proudly say that the Messi-CR7 debate is officially over as the boy breaks another long-standing record and awaits the fourth Ballon D’Or of his short career so far, and he thoroughly deserves it. In explaining the difference between both stars, a former ardent CR7 fan who has now ‘seen the light’ described both in a certain way. He said CR7 is like that brilliant student in school who studies hard, burns the midnight candles and scores lots of A’s with a few B’s in between, while Messi is like that genius who hardly comes to class, plays around a lot and still ends up scoring all A+, with an occassional A- when the teacher is ‘angry’ that he has already scored so much.

The last analogy got me thinking, so rephrased it in another way, especially with reference to goal scoring ability. Messi is like a student who knows ALL the possible questions and knows the answers to ALL the questions, so its a matter of getting to the hall. He’ll deliver. Every other player are like other students who, at their best (CR7), know MOST of the questions and also has answers to MOST of the questions known. So in the odd case when a question comes out and he doesn’t know it or doesn’t have any answer to it, then he drops marks. As a breakdown, I simply feel that the boy is blessed with a pre-recorded data of not only every possible scenario when facing a goalkeeper, but also what to do in those positions to put the ball in the net. He seems to score at will! Simply Magnificent!!!

As a wrap up, I doubt if my friend would want to pick up any CR7-Messi debate with me any time soon, because he simply can’t afford to tell me to wait a few more years as we both have an idea exactly what a few more years will hold. Except Messi drops dead tomorrow (God forbid!), CR7 will continue to live in the shadows until his career winds down with one of the biggest paychecks ever heard of in world football. As we celebrate another landmark achievement by the Mesmerizing One, I just want to ask us to forget the debates and keep enjoying the Little Flea in his adventurous world of conquest after conquest in the football world. Messi is gradually rising to the top of the greatest footballers of all time. Just a few more years…

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Fool’s Treasure


It is always like a dream when you think you’ve found a treasure you’ve so much cherished without even seeing it before. You have an idea what it looks like but you just haven’t seen it physically. Then you find it! But what a sad drama when you discover, after years of keeping it safe and sound, cherishing and taking care of it, that it was a fake! Yeah, it had been a phony treasure all along!! You feel someone must’ve played a cruel joke on you, replacing the original somewhere along the line despite your 24/7 attention to this treasure. But, no, what’s fake is fake, & must’ve been all along ‘cos u never took your eyes off it. Not for a single moment. When you moved, it moved with you. When you eat, it sat there looking you right in the eye. When you’re in the crowd, you’re always feeling for it in that hunter’s pouch you carried it about in! Then, what must’ve happened?! Alas, you’ve been carrying a fake all along! Not replaced but fake…from Day 1!!!

Now, out of annoyance, you throw it out the window during your train ride to the city, never to see it again! You’re so mad with yourself for spending so much time and care on a phony treasure. It’s really crazy how you felt about something that’s so unreal. You must’ve been stupid to think you could find such a treasure you’ve only dreamt of in your sleep.

Just two hours into your five-hour train ride, you start missing your lovely treasure. Yea, it’s fake but you’ve spent so much time taking care of it, it could as well have been real! Suddenly, you just don’t care whether it was fake or real, you just want to have your treasure back and take care of it some more. You just want it to be there when you need a companion. You miss it so terribly and you start to feel sorry for throwing it out the window at first thought. You wish myou could turn back time but that is one thing that is quite impossible…or is it? In your saddened state, you cry a little till you fell asleep.

Honk, honk!! The sound of the train reaching its final destination, and the crowd pushing their way out of it, wakes you up. You slept off the remainder of the way and you feel your head throbbing. Reflexively, you reach your hand into your pouch and… There!!! You found a miracle! Your cherished treasure is right in there! How come? You try to think back but just couldn’t. How did it get back in there? You were so sure you threw it out the window but, maybe it was just a dream. Whatever happened you cared a lot less about. What matters most is that your lovely treasure is back in your arms and this time, it doesn’t matter what version of the treasure you had in your hands. The important thing is your treasure’s back, never to leave again. You would make sure of that. Even if it was phony, you’ve invested a lot of time on it and you can’t just let that go for nothing. No! It will remain with you for as long as you live! There! That’s that!!

But then, you just missed a great opportunity to find the true treasure… Too bad!

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