Messi: Beyond the Praise

This adulation…about as well-differentiated as a chorus of vuvuzelas, no? As the superlatives die down, some alternative views surface: Patrick Barclay says tiny Leo benefits from 90s-era FIFA rules changes and diving; Ollie Irish makes the case for the overlooked Xavi; average position charts for the two Arsenal games by Optajoe show Ibra’s absence balanced Barca’s attack; Run of Play’s Ryan O’Hanlon says Messi’s show obscured the genius of Wesley Sneijder in Moscow; Footy Finance calculates The Flea is worth not just his weight in gold, but 6.6 times that.

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