Messi emerged through the Barcelona Academy as a teenager who had immense potential. He has been one of the stars of Barcelona ever since he played for the Spanish club. After the departure of the impressive Ronaldinho, Messi has taken over the mantle and been impressive. He has broken a number of records at such a young age and has taken the world by storm.
The emergence of Messi is not too different from a boy from Mumbai who debuted for India as a baby-faced 16-year-old. Tendulkar was blessed with immense talent.From the moment he played for India, he has been touted as the next best player after the legendary Sir Donald Bradman. He started strongly in his early days and stood up to fearsome bowlers of oppositions like Waqar Younis and Curtly Ambrose.
Tendulkar and Messi have been blessed with talent that separates them from the rest. Of course, there are a number of people who might argue that Cristiano Ronaldo is better than the Argentine in some respects.
But then again, for every Tendulkar, there is a Brian Charles Lara who was also immensely talented and it was inevitable that Tendulkar would be compared to Lara by most cricket supporters and the media.
Ronaldinho: The Fall of a Genius
Ronaldinho was a genius in his own right and is probably one of the most talented players ever in the history of football. The cheerful Brazilian could create things on his own and was impossible to stop when he got going. But Ronaldinho had a very short span of time when he dominated world football, and has not been the same since he won many individual awards with Barcelona, helping them to win various trophies before he left the Spanish giants in 2008.
The Brazilian playmaker was a fantastic player. He still has the creativity to make an impact on a game. But he has grossly underutilized his potential. He is not a footballing great because of his other activities, which had a drastic impact on his game. His love for the game did not last long enough, and that was the reason for his downfall.
Sachin Tendulkar: The Legend's Love and Respect for the Game
I do not know how many of you are aware of Sachin Tendulkar's records. But in a nutshell, it would be difficult to find any statistical record—relating to batsmanship in cricket (barring T-20s)—which does not have the name Sachin Tendulkar inscribed at the top of the list.
Tendulkar emerged as one of the stalwarts of Cricket within few years of his senior debut. He had to shoulder the burden the expectations of one billion supporters on his young shoulders. He was criticised heavily for every bad performance. It was his displays which more or less decided the outcome of the game.
It was not too dissimilar to the way Argentina depended on Messi's performances to clinch them the World Championship. Even though he was good, the entire team could not be successful because they did not have a good enough team and their manager's Diego Maradona's tactics was criticised.
But Tendulkar is as humble a sportsperson that you would ever come across. His love for the game never dwindled despite the unwarranted scrutiny and he waited for around 20 years before he finally lifted the World Championship in his hometown.
He has continued to perform to the maximum of his abilities and it was not surprising to see him break one record after another. He is currently 37 years old, but is one of the most consistent batsmen in the world. He admits that his love and respect for his country and the game drives him to be at his best every single time he takes the field.
He is a true model for every youngster who possesses remarkable potential in any field. It is often pointed out that Messi cannot be a leader in the side and that quality is not that of a great. Tendulkar was not a good captain by any standards, but it is universally accepted that he is one of the best players ever to have graced the planet.
Lionel Messi: Can He Become a Legend in the Future?
Lionel Messi has shown he has the brilliance to be a footballing legend and follow the footsteps of Diego Maradona and Pele to etch his name alongside these greats. But, he must be confident and be passionate toward the game. The most important thing he should show is respect to the game even after some years down the lane, and that is the key to success for Lionel Messi.
Messi has also shown a lot of humility and he has retained his youthful exuberance ever since he made his professional debut. He must keep his feet on the ground and strive hard to achieve more success in the future years for both FC Barcelona and Argentina.
He has certainly shown that he has the talent and potential to be a legend forever. But he needs to take a leaf out of Tendulkar's book and maintain the love and passion toward football and look forward to enthralling football supporters all over the world with his incredible wizardry.