10 Ways to Stop Leo MessiBy: Daryl | April 7th, 2010
After seeing Leo Messi demolish Arsenal with four goals (a hat-trick plus one to spare) yesterday, I proposed that maybe we should start a campaign to ban this menace from world football, and alleviate the suffering of opposition players and teams. Obviously that isn’t realistic, not least because someone as talented as Messi could just switch sports and dominate the NBA instead.
So I’m thinking we need a compromise. Measures that would keep Messi playing professional football, but also make it a little easier for all the other teams and players in the world. Here are 10 suggestions, feel free to add your own.
1. Messi’s not allowed to play for Barcelona anymore. Even without him they’re still brilliant, so clearly other teams need him more. Even better, I say he’s not allowed to play for any big teams. From now on he can only play for teams that are not in the elite European Club Association. Would be much more exciting to see Messi leading the charge at Bolton than at Barcelona. Or failing that…
2. Messi’s only allowed to play for teams coached by Diego Maradona. Although we may have to rethink this one after World Cup 2010. Time will tell.
3. No more alice bands to keep the hair out of his eyes. Essentially he has to play with the blastshield down:
4. Unless he actually is a Jedi. Which I suspect is what’s been happening all along here. In which case FIFA needs to bring in a new rule that specifically outlaws using The Force. But none of these “active vs passive” directives please FIFA. It has to be clear cut: No using The Force under any circumstances.
5. Triangle marking. Like man-marking, except three players cover Leo Messi at all times. Two in front of him, one behind. Does this exist already? If not, then I just invented it. You’re welcome, Jose Mourinho.
6. You must be at least this tall… If we can’t ban him outright, then maybe we can impose a height restriction on professional football. If all players had to be at least 5′8″ then Messi would either be illegal, or he’d have to wear some sort of platform shoes or stilts to play. Which should at least slow him down a bit.
7. One touch. You ever played one-touch football? It’s hard. If Leo Messi (and just Messi, not his teammates) was only allowed one touch of the ball on each possession, then that would at least restrict his dribbling options. If he has more than one touch, then it’s an indirect free kick.
8. No feet. I’m not saying we cut his feet off. He can keep his feet. I’m just saying we don’t let him use them in football matches. So Messi would be limited to using his head, chest, thigh and shin to control the ball. Nothing lower than the ankle. I look forward to seeing Messi perfect Kerlon’s seal dribble:
9. Drugs. Opposition defenders are allowed to take performance enhancing drugs. Not for the whole season, and not to play against anyone else. But for the seven days prior to facing Leo Messi, the WADA rules should not apply to opposition defenders, who should be free to bulk and increase stamina by any means necessary. Maybe someone could even invent a “Messi cocktail”.
10. Limit his playing time. If Leo Messi has to play for Barcelona, then he can’t keep playing the whole 90 minutes. Maybe we put an upper limit on how long he can spend on the field destroying opposition defences. I’m thinking 20 minute tops, and it’s up to Pep Guardiola whether to start him, get an early lead and then sub Messi out for a defender, or wait until the 70th and bring on the newly minted world’s greatest supersub.