Let’s have mercy on little Lionel, please

2011-01-12 00:00

IT’S not every day that the best player in the world has to apologise for being recognised as the best, but that’s football for you, hey?

Lionel Messi — who is probably the first player anyone thinks of when these awards are even mentioned — has spent most of the last 24 hours being embarrassed at “stealing” the thunder of his Barcelona team-mates, Xavi and Anders Iniesta.

Don’t get me wrong, both the pint-sized Spanish assassins are unbelievable footballers, but the fuss being made about neither of them winning is getting ridiculous.

Yes, they won the World Cup, but did they really have a better 2010 than Messi?

Remember his exploits in La Liga?

How about his one-man show against Arsenal at the Nou Camp, when he scored four goals, in “Playstation” mode?

Remember his role in the latest “El Clasico”?

I could go on, but I think my point is clear enough now.

The little number 10 is the best player in the world for a number of reasons, and he also happens to score a hatful of goals, too.

A lot of people seem to think that if you win the World Cup, then you are a shoo-in for the individual honours.


The Spanish media have already pulled out the self-pity card.

If you thought the ANC Youth League likes pulling out the race card, you should see the Iberians when they feel slighted.

They have already listed all manner of things that prove that the world is against them — losing out to Brazil for the 2016 Olympics, missing out on the World Cup in 2022.

I wouldn’t be surprised if they started bleating about having Jose Mourinho on their shores.

Oh wait, most of them have been doing that all season already.

Poor Messi probably had to skip practice today for fear of being pelted by perfectly good eggs from ridiculously vexed Barca fans.

But, if we can be serious for a moment, we should remember that the decision to make Messi the best wasn’t even his.

Journalists, players and managers from across the world voted for it.

But what do they know?

In my mind, one of the little Spaniards shouldn’t have been on the shortlist anyway.

I don’t know which one obviously, because they are so in-tune with each other, it’s scary.

They are like salt and pepper. Vodka and Red Bull. Darkies and chicken. You just can’t have one without the other.

My point here, before it gets lost in a pot of peppered chicken with vodka sauce, is that Wesley Sneijder should have been in the top three.

He was immense, for club and country in 2010. I really don’t know how he was overlooked, but there you go. He was the heartbeat in Inter Milan’s treble-winning exploits, and then he had a stunning World Cup.

But that’s just my five cents.

The deed is done, and Messi will probably spend the whole of this year proving just why he is the best in the world.

As for the salt and the pepper, they have World Cup medals to look at every morning. Now that’s not a bad consolation, is it?

And before I forget, Liverpool really need to see a sangoma urgently.

Their loss at Old Trafford confirmed this.

Yes, it was a harsh penalty.

And yes, Steven Gerrard may have been unlucky to get a straight red.

But as any chicken-chomping darkie will tell you, when the gods conspire against you, the last thing you should do is court danger.

Heck, you shouldn’t even eat chicken, lest it transforms itself into something weird — like turkey!

I keep saying I am tired of writing about them, but they keep on giving me more material every week.

Just you watch, they will probably go and lose to Blackpool tonight, and then do something suicidal in the Merseyside derby on the weekend.

It’s the ancestors, you see.

They have summoned one in Kenny Dalglish, but I don’t think even he has the means to sort this out.

This is a job for the late, great Bill Shankly.

Because it really is a matter of life and death now.



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