Messi, a true soccer icon, has much more to teach us off the field. He owes his success primarily to a character and work ethic that make him unique as a person. The qualities he brought to the game of soccer are lessons we can learn from in our own lives and in areas beyond the game. The consistency and excellence he has demonstrated throughout his career is directly correlated to fundamental qualities that he has never abandoned.
1. A great humility, that of the craftsman and never behave like a new rich
What distinguishes Messi from many other soccer stars is the great humility that characterizes him, both on and off the field. He always speaks with a certain restraint, never putting himself forward and instead emphasizing the collective. This humility contrasts with the mastery with which he usually expresses himself on the field. He may celebrate a spectacular goal with great joy, but his attitude will return to a humble and composed one a few minutes after the moment of brilliance. On the other hand, Messi’s humility reminds us of the craftsman who gives way to his work. He doesn’t talk much, his work speaks for itself. Finally, unlike many footballers, Messi has never lived in an exuberant or flashy way. What finally characterizes his life off the field is a form of simplicity that he cultivates with his family, even if he cannot live like an ordinary man, which forces him to live out of sight in a large house.
Lesson to remember: You can draw great strength from remaining humble. Humility allows you both calm focus and clarity.
2. Turning a Disability into Strength
Messi, more than most players has had to face hardships. Being small compared to other players, Messi quickly turned this disadvantage into an asset. Indeed, his smallness allowed him to develop his style of play based on speed, technical dribbling and a form of surprise effect.
Lesson to remember: The flaw you have may not be a flaw. With thought and creativity, you can turn a disadvantage into a decisive comparative advantage over your competitors.
3. Faith: Follow your lucky star
Messi believes in God and he doesn’t just show it by the hand signal he makes when he walks onto a soccer field or after a goal. His life itself is an illustration of this faith that he cultivates. First of all, his humility and simplicity are the expression of his faith. His fidelity in his marriage is an equally revealing example. In a certain way, he cultivates all the values opposed to sin:
– humility in the face of pride
– generosity in the face of avarice
– temperance in the face of gluttony
– work in the face of laziness
– calmness in the face of anger
– benevolence against envy
– continence against lust and temptation
Lesson to remember: Faith is not something abstract. It implies a concrete application in real life that finds various manifestations that find coherence and harmony between them.
4. Talent, but hard work
What characterizes Messi from a young age is his passion for the ball. It is said that he always had a football in his hand to be ready to play with his friends. This passion, probably inherited from his father, he used it to develop his talents but also to never stop playing. He literally played every chance he got.
Lesson learned: As much as possible, choose a profession for which you have a true passion, even if you are not necessarily good at it. Passion will develop persistence and work will become a game.
5. Unwavering loyalty
What characterizes Messi is his gratitude and appreciation for the club that has given him everything as he says. It is primarily thanks to him that Barça won the Champions League several times and dozens of other trophies. Yet, despite his successes, Messi has remained loyal and even as he bids farewell to the club, he knows that he will be eternally indebted to the club even though one might think that the opposite is true.
Lesson learned: Loyalty always pays off in the long run. It’s a quality that has a snowball effect and must be maintained to be trusted.
6. Family First
It was his family that sacrificed themselves so that he could go to Barcelona for his training. He has always kept this family spirit. He has always surrounded himself with those closest to him when making important decisions. In times of crisis, but also in everyday life, his family acts as a cocoon, a protective bubble that keeps him away from the media and malicious people.
Lesson learned: Whether it is friends or family, it is essential to create a bubble that allows us to face the hazards of life.
7. Tell the truth
Lionel Messi doesn’t speak often and when he does, it’s not with any particular eloquence. However, what stands out here is that he always speaks from the heart, you really get the impression that he says what he thinks and does not hide the truth from his interlocutors. This way of speaking makes him both trustworthy and humble.
Lesson Learned: Try to speak the truth as much as possible, even when it is difficult to hear. Speak little but speak truthfully to keep people’s trust.