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Asia Times | This could get enough Messi



Things could be more than Messi for Liverpool.

Apologize for the terrible pun, but surely the greatest footballer on the planet has a habit of destroying the dreams of other teams and leaving them in small pieces.

At best, Lionel Messi can bewitch and confuse opponents with the most agile film.

"I think he's the best player in the world," said Virgil van Dijk, Liverpool defender, about Barcelona legend.

"But you see how we play and how we stand. We do not advocate a [against] one, we all stand together and attack together, too, so let's see. We will be ready for it, "he added.

So the fans go from Beijing to Bangkok. They will stay until the early hours of Thursday morning to watch the live streaming of the first clash of Barça's semifinals with Liverpool in the UEFA Champions League.

For many of those armchair fans scattered throughout Asia, Messi became a great antidote to the mid-week blues.

The little Argentine scored 46 goals this season and won 10 Spanish League titles. He also helped Barcelona win the biggest club competition in Europe four times. The win against Liverpool would put him within 180 minutes of a fifth crown.

Charismatic

In addition, in the pantheon of big names, he is approaching the charismatic Diego Maradona and the polished Pelé, despite never having won a World Cup. Today, only the former Real Madrid hero and Juventus superstar Cristiano Ronaldo are in the same league as the football pygmies.

"The only thing that matters is to play," Messi says. "I've been enjoying it since I was a little boy, and I still try to do that every time I go to a field.

"I always say that when I do not like it or it's not fun to do it anymore, then I do not do it anymore. I do it because I love it and that's all that matters to me, "he added.

While Messi is no longer a young gun at age 31, the goals are just as incredible. Breathtaking shots have always been his trademark, along with the perennial "golf chips" on the stunned goalkeepers with both feet. Time and space seem to stop when he has the ball.

Of course, adulation and wealth followed his incredible feats. With an annual salary of $ 84 million and endorsements of $ 27 million, Messi is the highest-paid football player in the world.

But financial rewards are just a byproduct of your success. "Money is not a motivating factor," Messi said. "Money does not excite me or make me play better because there are benefits to being rich.

"I'm happy with a ball at my feet, my motivation comes from playing the game I love. If I was not paid to be a professional football player, I'd willingly play for nothing," he added.

Philosophy

In fact, this is a man's philosophy that Liverpool should stop at Nou Camp. In the quarter-finals, against another English Premier League marquee club, Manchester United, Messi has revolted.

Two goals within 20 minutes during Monday's match consigned the Red Devil to the Champions League hell. He was literally on fire.

However, Liverpool can still dream.

"I do not want to try fate, but I think [we] is better equipped to deal with Lionel Messi than with Manchester United at the Nou Camp, "said former Liverpool player Danny Murphy.

"They need to worry about [him]of course, but not obsessively. Stopping Messi is not simple, but if you're looking for a three-time midfielder to do the job, Jordan Henderson, Fabinho and Gino Wijnaldum will be at the top of the list, "he told the Daily Mail, a London newspaper.

Still, one piece of advice comes from an unlikely source. Pep Guardiola managed Messi when he was coach at Barca between 2008 and 2012.

Now in charge of Manchester City and locked in a duel with Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp for the EPL title this season, his comments are revealing. "Do not try to describe it, do not try to write about it – watch it," he simply said.

Of course, the danger of doing so can lead to the Messi effect. For Liverpool, it would be fatal.

Barcelona v Liverpool, first round, semi-final, Champions League. Check here the schedules in your region and city.


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