Lionel Messi won his 6th Ballon D’Or on Monday, taking him above Cristiano Ronaldo yet again. Barcelona’s talisman has been at his fearsome best again this year, defying the unwritten rule that footballers should begin to decline after crossing age 30.
Even with the man - and we use that term loosely here, because Messi is quite definitely more than a mere man - up there winning yet another trophy, the plaudits on the night were going to someone else.
Messi’s son Mateo is quite young, still young enough to be supremely excited by his father’s winning another trophy. His reaction to the announcement has gone viral, with the boy bouncing in his seat, mouth and eyes opened wide in glee.
He tugs at the shirt of the boy next to him, who like most older people, have come to accept that Messi winning trophies is as regular an occurrence as breathing. He turns and smiles at the younger Messi, the expression carrying the weight of ages. He is a wizened old sage, looking down beatifically at this youthful being who does not yet know the ways of the world. In time, he thinks, this child shall understand the regularity of this. But for now, let him have his joy.
In his speech, Lionel Messi said, “I am very lucky, I am blessed. I hope I will continue for a long time. I realize that I’m lucky even if one day it will be time to retire,” said the 32-year-old. “It will be tough but I still have some years ahead of me. Time flies so I will enjoy football and my family.”
We too hope that you continue for a long time, Leo.