Happy 23rd Birthday Lionel Messi

Who wants a birthday hug? (Getty Images)
Usually we refrain from individual birthday congratulations, but in this case, we will make an exception. Today is MESSIah’s date of birth, so let’s celebrate. Mr. Messi has now been with FC Barcelona for 10 years and in that short time has gone from a boy needing growth hormone treatments to the greatest player on the face of the earth. His accomplishments are myriad, both with the blaugrana and the Albiceleste, and he has gone on to become a vocal leader as well.

Since arriving, the Flea has amassed 127 goals and 52 assists in 247 appearances, winning 4 Liga titles, 2 Champion’s League trophies, 1 Copa del Rey, 1 UEFA Super Cup, 3 Supercopa de Espana trophies, and 1 FIFA Club World Cup title for the team. As an individual, he has won every award available to him at the club level, culminating in the FIFA World Player of the Year and European Golden Shoe awards for 2009 (more information on all his awards is available on Wikipedia). Now widely regarded as the best player in the world and one of the best players ever, Messi is with Barcelona for a long time to come and we want to wish him the best here.

Of course, any mention of the man could not go by without mentioning his charitable works. He is also a principled young man (I can call him that because I am older than he is) who represents a number of groups bearing his own name to help children suffering from diseases and poor education as well as working with UNICEF.

So in honor of your birthday Leo, we want you to go out and have a tasty, delicious adult beverage, and make sure there is a mic around when you do it.

Happy Birthday!

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118 Comments

  1. Vj
    June 25, 2010

    That was a wicked deflection..

    • Euler
      June 25, 2010

      It was but that’s very poor defending. 3 defenders are standing there and none of them close out an attacking player shooting from there? There were three defeners there. At least one has to close out the player.

      • Vj
        June 25, 2010

        Puyol hasn’t looked like the leader he is here.. Spain have to sort out that defense if they are to win the World Cup..

  2. Vj
    June 25, 2010

    Torres comes off for HeWhoShallNotBeNamed..

  3. Euler
    June 25, 2010

    Chile is at risk for becoming prisoners of their own system here. 2-1 loss and they go through in all likelihood. But they are so wedded to pressing that they keep making aggressive tackles that are far too risky. They cannot afford to have another player sent off. That could open the flood gates for Spain.

  4. Kari
    June 25, 2010

    So, watching Spain right now with Torres off, I wonder if Kxevin still thinks that Villa can’t lead the line…

  5. Euler
    June 25, 2010

    Chile’s fitness is remarkable. Their players cover so much space. They press and press and press even a man down. It’s really something. They aren’t pressing as hard as they opened up with but even now they aren’t dropping back to defend. They are pressuring the ball.

  6. Auld Super
    June 25, 2010

    There’s allot of stories going around that we are looking to buy Torres, the new president ( Rosell ) is a huge fan by all accounts. I know he’s having a bad world cup but he’s a class player, the problem is he is very injury prone and for what he’d cost I’d nearly hang on to the dreaded Ibra instead.

    2nd goal there made in Barca, can’t wait to see the goal machine playing for us next season.

    • Jnice
      June 25, 2010

      I don’t know… maybe I’m crazy, but i have never thought Torres was all that. Especially not with Spain or Atletico Madrid. His game is more suited for England and Premiership sides, not us.

    • Blow-Grenade
      June 25, 2010

      Torres is a class act!!!

  7. Hilal
    June 25, 2010

    Once again, Sergio Busquets is one of the best players on the pitch, wonderful performance so far.

    • Euler
      June 25, 2010

      Busi has been very good. Against a team that presses so hard and closes players down so fast, having a defensive holding player who is a good passer, composed on the ball and strong in positioning is a particular advantage.

      Spain’s deep midfield play has been very good, including Xavi and now Fabergas dropping deep to ensure players who are highly skilled on the ball are bringing it out of Spain’s own third to avoid turnovers if Chile pressures the ball.

  8. Auld Super
    June 25, 2010

    Through, 2 Barca goals.

  9. Vj
    June 25, 2010

    LOL Silva wants to come on but the play doesn’t stop.. and the ref blows the whistle..

    Spain and Chile go through..

  10. Euler
    June 25, 2010

    Congrats to Chile. Good to see them go through. They are a terrific squad. Very impressive.

    Spain is better right now with Villa out on the left. Teams know that Spain likes to play through the middle and have adjusted tactics.

    But that’s leaving Spain with large amounts of space to exploit along the flanks. That’s the area where Villa is going to be most difficult to mark and where he’ll have the most space and time on the ball. In addition, one of Spain’s real strengths is those precise diagonal long balls from Alonso and Pique. But if you don’t have an attacking player out on the wings those passes aren’t as dangerous.

    But all this depends on Torres finding his form and so far he’s been awful.

  11. y2k156
    June 25, 2010

    Happy for Spain and Chile. Chileans have lost quite comprehensively to Brazil before so i expect them to lose again. Spain will find it difficult against Portugal (they have a mean defence) but expecting Spain to go through.

    Happy that the Swiss did not get through. Lots of interesting match up’s coming along. Cannot wait!

  12. Eklavya
    June 25, 2010

    Fuck…switzerland are out….

    • Vj
      June 25, 2010

      Schadenfreude is sweet!

    • Jnice
      June 25, 2010

      Sorry, bud.

  13. Ramzi
    June 25, 2010

    And that Busquets moment was not a dive. A clear yellow card. Just for the record. As it was mentioned above. Check again.

  14. Jnice
    June 25, 2010

    I thought Busi was great, but of course in other blogs and forums, he still receives the most hate. Clueless fans. I bet if he scored a scorcher from outside the box, he would all of a sudden be considered to be having a good match. Sometimes the clueless fans are only convinced by goals.

    • tutomate
      June 25, 2010

      EXACTLY.

    • jordi™
      June 25, 2010

      Even Marca gave him top marks and called the best player.*http://www.marca.com/2010/06/25/futbol/mundial_2010/selecciones/espana/1277498641.html?a=LO22a51313d65fb317718352096ee214034&t=1277514747

      It just proves the people still hating on him dont watch the games and just pigeon hole him based on his name.

  15. Blow-Grenade
    June 25, 2010

    Oh yeah baby!!! La Fuera Roja!!!!
    Que Golazo’s from our very own Ghostface, and our ‘recent’ very own David Villa.

    • tutomate
      June 25, 2010

      La FUERA? Roja.

      I know what you meant though.

  16. poipoi
    June 25, 2010

    mvp busi all the way!!!

    and the rest were just… bad, even xavi and iniesta. to me it’s vicente’s fault only, not the players… I won’t stop 🙂 we were lucky villa sent that ball in and iniesta came back to the midfield to throw some walls and score his annual goal. chile played well and could have won the game perfectly, we did not have that many goal chances me thinks.

  17. Dave
    June 25, 2010

    Spain need to be more clinical and they’re not as fluid as before. Need to improve big time

  18. tutomate
    June 25, 2010

    I was not impressed with La Madre Patria today, they were not running half as hard as Chile was. They have to try harder if they want to win the WC. Over all their movement was good when it pertains to opening up for a pass, but when not in procession they did not pressure as they should they kind of just went back to defensive positions a la Arsenal instead of pressuring like Barca.I think they are too used to playing European sides. Hopefully this shows them how they play on this side world.

    Chile was very impressive I would love for them to pull the upset on Brasil.

    VAMOS ESPANA, VAMOS MEXICO Y VAMOS MESSI.

  19. ballbeav
    June 25, 2010

    puyol was not involved at all, which is a good thing. i didnt even see a close up of him on the screen ONCE the whole game! and casillas had very, very little to do. without a deflection its 2-0. the yellows were just, as euler said, chile was fighting but a little too slow to those tackles, because….spain was a little too quick. thats how you lose a man. spain was superior. but yeah they need to do more. still glad to see south american send all 5 teams through. plus mexico and US, the americas did well. and honduras kept the swiss out as well.

  20. Euler
    June 25, 2010

    Torres getting Estrada sent off was a complete dive. The replay is awful. Very cynical and very embarrassing, particularly given how poorly he played.

    Difficult to complain about squads from other countries like the Italians when one pull maneuvers like this one by Torres.

    Estrada could have been sent off for the prior tackle but ultimately he wasn’t given that card. Torres decided to do some play acting to get him thrown out knowing it would decrease Chile’s ability to press.

    Interesting tactic to take for the member of a team that’s lost 2 games in it’s last 45 or so to take. Particularly for a star player lauded for his toughness.

    http://img13.abload.de/img/1277496422531i1sy.gif

    • Tim
      June 25, 2010

      I think it is pretty clear from that .gif that there is contact between the two players and going at high speed he is always going to fall there. Not a yellow card offense probably, but out of the corner of the ref’s eye it looks bad.

      • ballbeav
        June 25, 2010

        that gif is not good enough quality, if you watch a good quality replay i thought he actually knicked both his feet, one after the other. even estrada’s gait takes a little hiccup from the contact. torres sold it and it probably shouldnt have been a yellow either way but it wasnt a complete dive i say.

  21. Kxevin
    June 25, 2010

    Spain looked impressive at times, and crappy at times. Pique’s last-second deflection kept Chile from scoring first, luckily for them. What is there to say about the Villa strike, really. Placement, opportunity and timing, off the first touch, which made it even more impressive.

    No, Kari, I still don’t think he can lead the line, match in and match out. He could for a stretch against Chile, but imagine if he were the sole target and it wasn’t a 2-0 lead. Players such as Villa need someone to open up space for them. Dare I say on the wing, Villa looked a lot like Henry of the good year, with his pace and movement. I also like the way he was hustling after balls and battling for possession. As the announcer noted, rare were the times that you saw him doing that at Valencia. He might as well get used to it, since that is the Guardiola way.

    Busquets appears to be growing up before our eyes. He was so impressive today. It makes that Yaya sale seem all the more well-timed, I have to say. I still don’t think he’s the man, match in and match out, but wow. And he’s only getting better. There was one sequence where I had to check to make it wasn’t some little midfielder running around, as he drove up the sideline, throwing ballhandling skills at the defense.

    If we don’t do anything stupid (yes, like sell Ibrahimovic), we’re the best club in the world next year, period, full stop. Villa is an absolutely immense addition, and man, was it good to see Iniesta doing what we all know he does so well.

    And Torres? Really? Could anyone, after these matches, be entertaining any notions of a Torres for Ibrahimovic swap? Only one of them has had two knee operations and looks to be (so far) a shadow of himself. Yes, the 18 goals in 22 matches stat for Liverpool is an impressive scoring rate. But I just don’t see it happening. As someone noted, Sport is sniffing the air like a bird dog, and they don’t see it happening either, despite their best efforts. Hence the “maybe Ibrahimovic ain’t so bad after all” piece today.

  22. jordi™
    June 25, 2010

    Also how farcical have some of these MOTM awards been? Yes im talking about Thongboy getting 3 in a row.Hell he even gave over the award to tiago himself in the game before this last one.

  23. Miguel
    June 25, 2010

    wow. i’m really glad chile progressed to the knock out round, & i’m especially glad it wasn’t @the expense of espain.

    i’m feeling lucky. i’m heading to the horse track. $3 beers before 9.

  24. June 30, 2010

    messi plz do the best in the next match plz plz plz …….i am waiting to see your best performance……. i really really really miss you same as your lover its my true tough……………. from bangladesh

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