Friday, 19 Jul 2024

Shame on Lionel Messi

is messi in his prime

It’s hard to believe that Lionel Messi, one of the greatest footballers of all time, has made the decision to play in Saudi Arabia next year. While circumstances beyond his control may have played a role, it’s a shame to see him tarnish his legacy by associating himself with a regime that has a questionable human rights record.

Limited Options

The truth is, Messi and Ronaldo had limited options when it came to finding new teams. Ronaldo’s declining skills and diva-like behavior left him with few takers in Europe. Messi, on the other hand, still has some sharpness and invention left in his game, but his astronomical salary demands make it difficult for top European clubs to afford him.

A Lucrative Choice

While Messi may have had other, potentially less lucrative options, the appeal of a hefty paycheck in Saudi Arabia was hard to resist. However, by choosing to play there, Messi risks overshadowing his incredible career with the stain of association with a regime known for its human rights abuses.

A Shill for Saudi Arabia

It’s not the first time Messi has acted as a shill for Saudi Arabia. He currently serves as an “ambassador” for the regime and reportedly earns over $100 million for his role. This is a particularly traitorous move considering his real purpose in Saudi Arabia is to help the country win a bid for the 2030 World Cup, a tournament that his home nation of Argentina also hopes to win.

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Soft Power and Reputation Laundering

Let’s be clear, Messi and Ronaldo are not being brought to Saudi Arabia for the purpose of entertainment or to enjoy the atmosphere of Riyad’s stadiums. They are there to help extend the Gulf State’s soft power efforts and launder the reputation of its leader, Mohammed bin Salman.

Messi in action

FAQs

Q: Is Messi the only player to be criticized for playing in Saudi Arabia?
A: No, Ronaldo has also faced criticism for his decision to play there.

Q: What are the concerns about Saudi Arabia’s human rights record?
A: Saudi Arabia has been widely criticized for its treatment of activists, journalists, and dissidents, as well as its involvement in the war in Yemen.

Q: Will Messi’s decision to play in Saudi Arabia impact his legacy?
A: It’s hard to say for certain, but there is no doubt that his association with the regime will be a stain on his otherwise illustrious career.

Conclusion

As football fans, we admire the skills and talents of players like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. But it’s important to hold them accountable for the choices they make off the pitch. By choosing to play in Saudi Arabia, Messi risks tarnishing his legacy and becoming a pawn in the country’s efforts to improve its international image. As fans, we should expect more from our heroes.