Why Lionel Messi Is the Adele of World Football

Charles Lawley@@charleslawleyContributor IFebruary 12, 2013

Why Lionel Messi Is the Adele of World Football

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    This weekend he scored for the 13th consecutive game.

    This weekend she won another Grammy award, after scooping a record of six last year.

    They are both world famous. They will both be looked back on as probably the best at what they do of their generation. They both have vowels at the end of their name.

    Here are the reasons why Barcelona’s Lionel Messi is the footballing world’s equivalent of pop music’s Adele.

5) They Both Break Records For Fun

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    Whenever either Messi or Adele’s name comes up, it is almost always accompanied by a record they have just broken.

    It could be Messi breaking Gerd Muller’s record for goals in a calendar year or Adele breaking Whitney Houston’s record for longest time on top of the Billboard album chart.

    Maybe it’s Messi becoming the youngest ever player to reach 200 league goals or even Adele’s album, 21, spending 40% of a year as the US number one?

    It's starting to feel like people are just making up records that were never counted before just to accommodate them both.

    It has got to the extent that it seems everything they do now warrants a new record; “That’s the first time Lionel Messi has eaten sushi”,  “Adele has been to the bathroom more times than anyone else in her household over this calendar year”, “Cristiano Ronaldo wants Lionel Messi to "just stop" more than any other person in recorded history.”

4) Universal Recognition

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    In the worlds of both football and popular music, there are people with niche tastes. But no matter what you prefer, you cannot deny that Leo and ‘Dele are bloody good at what they do.

    Whether your preferred music genres is hip-hop, experimental electro or massacre-core hate metal you cannot deny that Adele has one hell of a voice and her soulful, self-written tracks are very credible.

    In the same way the football hipsters (we’ve all met them, they only wear retro shirts and have glasses like a young Deirdre Barlow and say stuff like “What’s that? The Premier League? Sorry, I only follow FC St Pauli in 2."), or even Real Madrid fans cannot deny the skill of Lionel Messi and how well he plays the game.

    Try tweeting “Lionel Messi is overrated" now and it will be retweeted a thousand times in derision and receive two thousand abusive responses or death threats.

3) Secretive to the Media

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    In a world where any poor soul who’s had a terrible audition on a TV talent show, or made a terrible mistake on Twitter, like asking “is Wimbledon always held in London?” or anyone with the last name Kardashian can stake claim to being a celebrity, the two leading figures in pop and soccer lead lives fairly sheltered from the public eye.

    You never see photos of Messi staggering out of a nightclub at 5 a.m. or hear about him and his family in talks to have a structured reality TV show called A Messi Home Is A Happy Home.

    And despite being the hottest property in gossip magazines, no one found out the name of Adele’s son until five months after he was born. In fact, I have been working in entertainment news for two years and I can't actually remember what Adele’s last name is, she’s so private.

    So little is known personally about them you actually forget how young they both are, Leo and Adele have a combined age of 49. QPR have signed players older than their combined age.

2) Their Agents Have the Easiest Jobs in the World

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    Being Adele or Messi's agent is a pretty sweet gig. Imagine representing Adele in negotiations over a record deal:

    Record exec: “With respect, I think your demands are over the top, it just isn’t feasible.”

    Adele’s agent: “OK we’ll just go to—“

    Record exec:  “Don’t go. Take everything. Have my lung. Please don’t go.”

    Similarly, contract talks for Messi can be conducted by his agent just leaving a print out of the first image that appears when you Google Image search “Lionel Messi” on a meeting room table while the Barcelona president just throws bricks of money at it until the Google Image printout is pleased.

    And it doesn’t even need to be a color printout.   

1) Do They Even Need to Try Anymore?

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    When you get so good at something, it must get boring, mustn’t it?

    Despite winning a Grammy this week Adele hasn’t actually released an album since 21 in January 2011, yet she’s still winning awards for it. In fact, it only fell out of the UK album chart in the last week of November 2012, 96 weeks after its release.  

    And hasn’t Messi just completed club football? If you got to the level of skill in computer game football on FIFA or PES that Messi achieves in actual, real life football you’d just turn the game off, maybe put Assassin’s Creed on or go outside and experiment with daylight. When you’ve scored four goals past Osasuna do you really need a fifth?

    In conclusion, Lionel Messi and Adele—you are two peas in a pod. You have come from humble beginnings to be people who excel in their respective professions, and it will be a long time before they make Someone Like You.