There is a cliche that gets trotted out endlessly when a less well-known player does something wonderful: if Messi had scored that we would be banging on about it for weeks. It’s not true; in fact, at times it feels like the opposite is true: Messi has made the remarkable so routine that it stops being so remarkable. It’s just him doing what he does. There’s not much new to say; all the good words ran out some time ago. Even swearing won’t do now.
They say you could get a thousand monkeys on a thousand typewriters and they would eventually come up with the complete works of Shakespeare. Maybe, but you could get a thousand monkeys on a thousand typewriters – God knows, the Spanish sports media have tried – and they still wouldn’t come up with much that was new to describe Messi. Pep Guardiola was right when he said: “Don’t write about him – watch him.” +