Saturday, December 19, 2009
Lionel MESSI - A Chest Of Brilliance
First it was Spain, then it was Europe and now the World. Sounds familiar, right? That’s just about almost summed it up for Lionel MESSI in 2009.
Barcelona can finally now claim the only title that was missing from their trophy cabinet after defeating Estudiantes of Argentina 2-1 in the FIFA Club World Cup at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi. In the process, they ensure European dominance in the competition for the third straight year.
Barca started the game brightly but fail to capitalize on the chances they created. Despite of their dominance it was the Rat Stabbers that took a surprise lead in the 37th minute with a power header from Mauro BOSELLI.
MESSI came close to equalize in the 41st minute with an in swinging free kick but was well saved by Damian ALBIL to ensure that his side going into half time with the lead.
In the second half, it was all Barca as they kept pushing forward but were unable to break down a determined Estudiantes defense. MESSI forced ALBIL into another save in the 70th minute after dribbling past four players.
Just as when it did looked like the trophy was heading back to South America after a two years lapse, the Blaugrana finally had their breakthrough. With just a minute left, Gerard PIQUE flicked the ball to substitute PEDRO to head in the equalizer forcing the game into extra time.
When the match restarted, it was the same script again. Then just like in Rome almost six months ago, MESSI rose to the occasion to score Barca’s winner with just 10 minutes left to play. Instead of using his head, he chested the ball in after a brilliant cross from Dani ALVES.
There’ more. FIFA also named him as the winner for the adidas Golden Ball and Toyota Award for being the best player in the tournament. Juan Sebastian VERON came in second.
As for Estudiantes, they can still go out with their heads held high for putting such a remarkable display. Kudos to their fans for making their presence felt.
But certainly 2009, belongs to no one else but Lionel MESSI.