Lionel Messi Dispelled Myth That He's Not A Leader Against Lyon
There is this idea that Lionel Messi is not able to be a leader, with Diego Maradona one of those holding that exact opinion.
Back in October, Maradona, now managing Mexican second-tier side Dorados de Sinaloa, questioned Messi's ability as a leader and claimed he goes to the toilet 20 times before a game.
"Messi's a great player, but he's not a leader," Maradona said to La Ultima Palabra Mexico on Fox Sports.
"Before talking to the Coach and players, he'll play on the PlayStation. Then, on the field, he wants to be the leader. He's the best in the world with Cristiano [Ronaldo].
"For me, it's difficult to say it but it's useless to make a leader out of a man who goes to the bathroom 20 times before a game."
But while Messi has a reputation being a quiet guy on the pitch and someone who would prefer to lead by example, he demonstrated leadership qualities in the 5-1 thrashing of Lyon at the Nou Camp on Wednesday night.
The five-time Ballon d'Or winner had four goal involvements in the second leg rout as Barca progressed to quarter finals and set up a showdown with Manchester United.
And in addition to that, there's a clip doing the rounds showing Messi instructing his teammates after Lyon scored to make it 2-1 through Lucas Tousart.
It's been beautiful to watch this part of his progression. Assuming leadership responsibilities. Messi wasn't a great leader. And I still don't think he's a 'great' leader. Maybe a good leader. Maybe an okay leader. But he's made a great effort to be one. Let's see how he does. https://t.co/3KH3UR3rEI- Arshaq. (@MDSArshaq) March 15, 2019
Messi calling and telling what to do to each and every player in the pitch after Lyon scored a goal to make it 2-1.- Barca Times Tape (@Barca_Tape) March 15, 2019
Some people say that "he is not a leader." pic.twitter.com/XnXfXjV0jg
He's not shouting and balling; instead opting to converse with his players and advise them on what to do. That's why he's Barcelona captain.
Meanwhile, Lyon skipper Nabil Fekir has perfectly summarised just how complete a player Messi is, having witnessed it up close and personal.
Speaking after the game, as per El Periodico, he said: "We played a good game but history's best player made it impossible for us. When he's not scoring he's assisting. When he's not assisting he's play-making. It was impossible. He is impossible."