Like other mortals, I was stunned by Barcelona’s 4-0 snuffing of AC Milan to blaze with canons firing into Champions League quarter finals.
With confounding feet, Leonel Messi fired out of a throng of Milan defenders high into left corner at minute 5, leaving Goalie Christian Abbiati looking like a tree planted in the ground, his vision blocked by his own defenders.
Just before the half, Messi again caught Abbiati wrong-footed with a low torpedo through defender’s legs that sank Italian hearts. A third curling goal from David Villa marked victory, and a lung-bursting sprint from Jordi Alba, picking up a cross from Dani Alves, made it four.
The Barcelona Symphony, directed by Messi, played a command performance, overcoming a 2-0 deficit on the away game — a feat never before seen in the Champions League.
With brimming reason, Messi has been named an unprecedented four times best world player. But first, Barcelona had to invest in him.
At 11 years of age, the Argentine showed early promise but suffered from growth hormone deficiency. His dad, a poor steelworker, could not afford it. The legendary Argentine team River Plate recruited Messi but balked at the $900/month treatment.
Investment-risking on a potential starlet, FC Barcelona forked over for his treatment and moved him to Spain, where he rose through the ranks of their youth academy.
With consistent admiration from coaches, players and commentators around the world, Messi is perched atop the pyramid of soccer prowess. Any team would love to contract him. They would be willing to pay multiple millions of dollars. But Messi remains loyal to the Catalan kings because he’s grateful: when he was needy, they were there for him.
First you must invest to reap a harvest of blessing. Invest your most precious commodity: time. Pray.