Is Messi the new symbol of 'Total Football'?

Is Messi the new symbol of Total Football?
Lionel Messi just broke another record

Dubai - Luis Enrique says Bercelona star is the in the world in every position



By Rituraj Borkakoty

Published: Wed 14 Sep 2016, 2:44 PM

Last updated: Fri 16 Sep 2016, 3:39 PM

It was in the early 1970s that the Dutch mesmerised the world with their 'Total Football'. Of course, their national team as well as their iconic club team - Ajax Amsterdam - were the pioneers of Total Football. 
For those who don't know, total football was a system developed by the Dutch in which every outfield player has to be ready to take over the role of another player when required. 
In total football, a striker can be seen helping the defence and then during a quick counter-attack a defender will be the one going for a goal. 
'Total Football' changed the way the game was played in the 1970s and if it was not for the typical German 'never-say-die spirit', the Johan Cruyff- inspired Netherlands would have even won the 1974 World Cup.
In the end, that Dutch team had to be contend with the runners-up spot as Franz Beckenbauer's West Germany clinched their second World Cup title in Munich with a come-from-behind 2-1 win in the final.
But for the footballing romantics, the enduring image was that of the Dutch team that pulvarised all their opponents with their unique brand of attacking football.
Now on Tuesday night, Lionel Messi was in the sort of mood in his hat-trick laden performance during Barcelona's 7-0 win over Celtic in the Champions League opener that it inspired Barcelona coach Luis Enrique to hail the Argentine genius as a sort of one-man 'Total Football'.

For the record, Messi became the first player in the Champions League history to score six hat-tricks, moving ahead of his great rival Cristiano Ronaldo (5) in their never ending race for footballing glory.
It was also Messi's 40th career hat-trick for club (Barcelona) and country (Argentina) with his first coming in an unforgettable 2007 'Clasico' in which his incredible late, third goal allowed Barcelona to escape with a 3-3 draw with Real Madrid.
On Tuesday though, it was not the numbers alone. The Barcelona magician was at the heart of every attack that hit the Scottish giants. From the left, right and centre, the five-time World Player of the Year was a complete menace and the bewildering speed in which he exchanged passes with Neymar and Luis Suarez left Celtic gasping for breath.

"Messi plays with complete freedom and he can change his position as he wants. He's the best in the world in every position," a delighted Enrique said in the post-match Press conference on Tuesday night.
"If he plays as a number 9, a number 8 or a number 6, he's the best in the world. He can judge the perfect pass from 40 yards and put the ball wherever he wants.
"He's total football and we'd be very stupid if we imposed limits on him.
"For me, he's the best player of all time, both for the number of goals he scores and for his footballing vision."
Even Andres Iniesta, a World Cup winner with Spain whose vision has helped Messi score many of his Barcelona goals, was also in awe of his famous teammate after the Celtic game.
"It is difficult to say anything about him which hasn't been said," Iniesta said.
"In every game he surprises you with new things. There is only one Leo, he is unique."


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