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Opinion: The end of Lionel Messi’s career is almost here

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In a nostalgic moment for football history, Lionel Messi spoke about the end of his career for the first time in front of an audience. 

Watching Lionel Messi win his sixth Ballon d’Or wasn’t supposed to be this emotional, but we all realized that the end is near.

The Argentine star picked up the award that sets him apart from the rest once again.

As one of the world’s most important players who ever lived. Leo’s contributions to football will be talked about for many generations.

The comparisons are inevitable at this point, some people choose him and others choose Cristiano Ronaldo.

When we are talking about the greatest of all time (or GOAT), the debate becomes even trickier.

There are many football fans who experienced other legends such as Diego Maradona, Pele, Alfredo Di Stefano, or Johan Cruyff.

All of those footballers are in the conversation of who the best player in history truly is.

But I will talk about my own experience covering Lionel Messi throughout his career.

This is the tenth consecutive time I get to write about the Ballon d’Or trophy.

All ten years tend to have either Leo or Cristiano as the winner, except for the year in which Luka Modric won it last season.

I’ve been ambivalent in a few of those times when the winner is announced, as I’ve felt other players deserved to win the award.

But one thing that I can’t deny is how much I’ve enjoyed football thanks to Messi and Ronaldo. 

A decade of greatness from Messi and Ronaldo. 

I can’t deny that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my profession as a football writer throughout this decade, but things won’t be the same without Leo.

Cristiano’s contributions and the challenge he represented to Messi is also impressive. But the raw talent to play this sport could only come from the Argentine.

It suddenly dawned on me as Luka Modric gave the award to him, this might be one of the last times I get to accompany him to the podium.

This took me back to every single moment in which Messi fell injured and didn’t play for weeks. Football is not the same when he is not playing it.

I can definitely take it better when Ronaldo is no longer playing the game. But I don’t know how I will react when Messi retires.

Both players calling it quits will bring extreme sadness to the world, but Leo’s genius means so much to so many fans.

I can’t help but think that putting him on cryogenic state until we find the fountain of youth is the best idea I’ve had all year.

This player is a treasure to the world of football, his achievements speak for themselves.

But even if you don’t like football or you have never seen a game, watching Messi can make you change your mind. 

Leo and Barça, a match made in heaven. 

Messi owes a great deal of his career to what happened at FC Barcelona. Destiny brought a player and his club together.

Perhaps only the story of Francesco Totti with AS Roma can be compared to this one.

The perfect player who wears the number ’10’ jersey and becomes the club’s greatest legend.

The difference is that Leo truly broke all the records at the club. His achievements will never be matched by another player.

Many generations of great players will come in the future, and Messi will remain at the top as the original ‘Untouchable’.

I leave you with the words that struck a nerve in my soul, the ones that made me realize how fast time flies.

“I never stopped dreaming and enjoying football as if I was still a kid,” said Messi during his acceptance speech.

“I wish I can get more years to enjoy like this, but I’m aware of how old I am.”

“Everything happens to fast, and I know that the moment of my retirement is getting closer,” he concluded. 

What will you do when Messi and Cristiano retire for good? Please share your opinion in the comment section down below.