ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Dribbler, Passer, Poacher

Lionel Messi, star forward and captain of the Argentine football team, displays a genius and artistry that will long outlive the Brazil 2014 World Cup.

Lionel Messi received the ball close to the central circle. The entire set of outfielders from Belgium and Argentina were huddled inside or close to the Argentina half in the 28th minute of their quarter-final clash on July 4 in the 2014 football World Cup held in Brazil. And all those watching – Argentina’s coach Alejandro Sabella and players on the bench, the players on the field, the spectators and the billions of TV viewers around the world – were expecting something special. As Sabella put it aptly, “Messi is like water in the desert” and that every move made by the diminutive genius of a forward was a “sign of hope for the team”.

Messi was, for a couple of seconds, applying what is well known in Argentina as pausa – the hesitation move. It is as if the rest of the universe stood still for those couple of seconds, as Messi’s CPU was evaluating options, clearing out the entropy around him and finding the optimal choice.

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