Millions of hearts racing, blood pumping vigorously and anxiety taking over the consciousness; such is the effect of the ticking time bomb in a small city in Spain. The hopes and hearts of millions depend on one man. Lionel Messi. The indecisiveness of a few is a nightmare for all.
From what I can remember, I was always a Liverpool fan. I remember watching my first football match ever; it was the 2004-05 Champions League final. I just fell in love with the sport after watching Gerard score that beautiful header, and then 2 minutes later Smicer scoring that rocket of a goal. I instantly fell in love with a sport where people kick balls so fast. I still had no idea about what exactly a football is.
As I grew up, I started playing the game and understanding everything. I explored other football matches. One that did not have a team dressed in red. That's when I stumbled onto Lionel Messi. I was convinced I had seen god. It all started when I saw him play and score 5 goals in one match which I thought was not possible (until then). From then on, I started worshipping the guy. Never had I been so involved in something like I was with football and my love for Messi just took it to another level.
Reading about his life story was so inspiring to me that there was a phase in my life where I wanted to become a footballer. Since I loved Messi, it is pretty obvious that I love Barcelona (not a plastic fan); both of them go hand in hand.
The next 8 years were a rollercoaster ride in terms of football for me. Lots of ups and downs and lots of heart-breaks and joyful days (mostly heart breaks recently). But I never once doubted the loyalty of Messi towards the club and neither did I ever think there will be a day when he might even think of leaving Barcelona.
Fast forward to 2020, a year full of bad surprises and news for everyone all around the globe. A year where everyone lost something or someone. For FCB fans though, this year is like a never-ending bumpy road. Lost everything that there is to lose. Now we hear the news that no cules in their right mind will ever want to hear. Lionel Messi wants to leave FC Barcelona.
I was so swept away by the phenomenon that is Leo Messi, that in 8 years I almost watched every documentary I could find, and read every book I could. I have seen so many YouTube videos that I subconsciously remember the commentary of most of his goals. But all this information never failed to portray one thing: The beautiful love story between Messi and Barcelona.
A young 13-year-old boy comes to Barcelona from Argentina; more than 5000 kilometres away from home, away from his family to pursue his dream. A city that took him in and accepted him. Never once let him feel estranged from his family and gave him everything he could ever hope for and more. He spent more than 20 years in that city and never left. For a footballer, that is a very long time to stay in one place - most of them would've left after 5 years or maybe 6. He even said that he would like to finish his career at Barcelona. So why would he want to leave?
The news dropped like a bomb overnight just two days after the champions league debacle against Bayern Munich. Initial thoughts? Scared, heartbroken, and riddled with anxiousness. It was one of those moments where you never really know what to do except just wait and watch.
But what the news did not mention in bold letters, was that it is not confirmed yet. They said he sent a fax to the club with the message. A bloody fax. A fax that apparently says Messi wants to leave Barcelona. This one alleged fax changed the course of all lives in the city overnight. Not even 1 hour after the news is out, there are mobs and mobs of people outside of the stadium of FCB (Nou Camp).
I can't say for everyone but personally, I was distraught over the news. I was on twitter for 2 hours refreshing it every other second to find out if it's true. But all I could see was different people suggesting what clubs he should go to. Sports news channels having debates over what could cause him to leave. But nowhere did anyone mention whether or not the news was true.
The magnitude of this (probable) fake news was so huge that the word "Messi" became the most searched word in 2020, after the word 'Corona', in less than a week. What might have influenced such a huge shift in modern news that people are more worried about a footballer than a global pandemic? Maybe indecisive reporting, maybe emotions of people. Nobody will know for sure unless and until the man himself breaks his silence.
For now, all we can do is have faith in the people behind the closed doors in FCB and hope that they sort out the situation as fast as they can.