Image & Reality

While Messi was pampered by hypocrites, Cristiano Ronaldo was educated by Alex Ferguson


First, there was the big tax evasion story. Leo Messi didn’t pay his taxes. Messi also had a disastrous tour in the United States that included a “no show” in Los Angeles, while in Chicago people who paid $2,500 to meet Messi in person were stiffed.

Then came some reports about Leo Messi’s behavior.

Spanish publication El Confidencial claimed that Messi bullies and harasses his inferior teammates.

Known as much for his “humble, respectful, well mannered approach”, the Argentine has apparently reduced younger teammates to tears. “What are you doing? You’re nobody. Pass me the ball – you ’re here to play for me,” the Argentine reportedly said to Spanish youngster Christian Tello. “You’re so bad, I do not know how you could cost so much,” Messi, reportedly said to Alexis Sanchez.

Then Swedish coach Hans Backe told broadcaster TV4 Sports about how Messi allegedly humiliated coach Pep Guardiola in front of the entire Barcelona team three hours before a match. According to Backe: ”It was three hours before the match, all the players were sitting and eating, when Messi said he wants a coke. ‘No, no, we don’t drink a cola three hours before the match,’ Guardiola said. So Messi got up from his chair and returned a few minutes later with a can of cola, which he then opened and drank right in front of  Guardiola and the rest of the team. Imagine what would have happened when a player with the profile of Messi goes against the coach in this way. It is a war that Guardiola can not win. It is impossible”.

According to reports, senior Barcelona players and management routinely ignore Messi’s behavior…

Now, as a reporter I must say that there is no smoke without fire. I am pretty sure Messi is as far away from his image as Pluto is from the sun.

It is intriguing to compare Messi’s image to Cristiano Ronaldo’s. The Portuguese is regularly portrayed as a self-loving, spoiled diva but there were no reports on him bullying his teammates or humiliating his managers. He has his ego, sure – but he is a beacon of professionalism.

It might be down to education. Messi is over-pampered by an organization that takes the moral high-ground but its main sin is hypocrisy. Ronaldo, on the other hand, was educated by Alex Ferguson.


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