Monday, 22 Jul 2024

The Art of Lionel Messi: Walking with Purpose

Video lionel messi runs

lionel messi runs

On Sunday, the world will witness the clash between two footballing powerhouses in the World Cup final. Amidst all the excitement and anticipation, there is one player who stands out not for his flashy runs or dazzling skills, but for his subtle and mysterious movements on the field. Lionel Messi, the Argentine maestro, spends a significant portion of the game simply walking around. While it may seem uneventful, his strategic wandering holds the key to his genius.

The Power of Observation

To truly understand the game of football, it is essential to shift your focus from the ball and keep an eye on the off-ball movements. This is where the real action unfolds, where patterns and trends emerge, and where opportunities arise. Lionel Messi, known as soccer’s great ambler, spends about 85% of his time off the ball. His seemingly nonchalant demeanor belies a profound footballing intelligence and a commitment to energy efficiency.

The Master of Cartography

Watching Messi walk during the early stages of a game is like witnessing a cartographic survey. He meticulously scans the defense, identifies vulnerabilities, and creates a mental map of the field. Pep Guardiola, who coached Messi at Barcelona, described this process as Messi having “a map in his eyes and in his brain.” His aim is to lure opponents, create space for his teammates, and exploit the weaknesses he detects.

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The Greatest Con Job

Messi’s walking is not a sign of laziness or disinterest. On the contrary, it is a deliberate ploy to deceive defenders and unleash his mesmerizing skills. He manipulates the rhythm of the game, dragging opponents with him and creating openings. His languid movements lull defenders into a false sense of security, only for Messi to explode into action with lightning-fast dribbles and breathtaking plays.

The Hidden Impact

One prime example of Messi’s deceptive walking is his goal against Mexico in the World Cup. While his teammates worked the ball on the right wing, Messi positioned himself unmarked in open space. By the time the defenders reacted, the shot was already in the net. These off-ball movements, combined with his precise positioning, are a testament to his footballing genius.

A Strategic Approach

An analysis by The Athletic revealed that Messi has walked more than any other player in this World Cup, covering over three miles per game on average. This strategic approach allows him to conserve energy, prolong his career, and stay mentally sharp. Despite being in the later stages of his career, Messi continues to astound with his on-field brilliance.


Q: Is Messi’s walking a sign of laziness?
A: No, Messi’s walking is a deliberate tactic that enables him to deceive opponents and conserve energy.

Q: How does Messi’s walking impact his teammates?
A: Messi’s movements create space and opportunities for his teammates, enabling them to capitalize on his genius.

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Q: What makes Messi’s walking so effective?
A: Messi’s walking confuses defenders, allowing him to launch into explosive dribbles and unleash his magical skills.


Lionel Messi’s ability to walk with purpose sets him apart from other footballers. His strategic observations, deceptive movements, and precise positioning demonstrate his unparalleled footballing intelligence. As he takes the field in the World Cup final, keep an eye on Messi’s seemingly aimless wanderings, for within them lies the essence of his genius.

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The Art of Lionel Messi: Walking with Purpose