Monday, September 20, 2010

The artist and the beast

Ever since Lionel Messi I have been waiting for him to get injured by some cynical player who would rather destroy him and let the little magician pass by him. With his small size, I really feared that Lionel Messi's career would end there. Fortunately, Messi has proven more robust than I thought, but also, referees are much more protective against wild tackles than they were in the 1980s for instance, when Maradona often was slaughtered in match after match.
That has not prevented some players from trying, and in this weekend's la liga match between Barcelona and Atlético Madrid (that Barcelona won 1-2 on goals by Messi and Piqué) another player came close to destroying Messi: Atlético Madrid's Czech defender Tomás Ujfalusi decided to end the match (it happened in the dying seconds of the match) by doing a vicious tackle on Messi, who for now will apparently be out for a couple of weeks. Ujfalusi was correctly given a red card, but this does not take away that these day's football magician will be sorely missed for a couple of weeks.

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