Undoubtedly the best player of 2012 and fast becoming the best of all time. Although the Argentine may also be the worst dressed after showing up in a polka-dot suit that made him look like a postmodern optical illusion.
For the fourth time Lionel Messi has been proclaimed as the world’s best footballer given credence to the suggestion he may just be the best to have ever played the beautiful game. The Barcelona forward had a sensational 2012 where he scored 91 goals for club and country to surpass Gerd Muller’s highly recognised record of 85. While it was less successful on a team level - Barca lost both the Champions League and La Liga crowns this year - on a purely individual basis it is hard to doubt that Messi was a deserving winner.
While the Argentine cannot be doubted for his natural footballing ability there appears to be one area where he might just need some improvement. His fashion sense.
In previous years the diminutive demon has kept it simple with a simple black-on-white number that spoke of his personality; unfussy, mild and effective. Yet last year he wore a shimmering velour piece and once again this year he decided to choose something for himself. While Cristiano Ronaldo had clearly watched Skyfall to many times at the cinema this summer and turned up in a James Bond costume and Andres Iniesta did his best Johnny Cash impression in his number Lionel decided to give those hard of sight a migraine with his ceremonial outfit.
Black-and-white polka dots; with a bow-tie to match.
Here is what Lionel had to say about his decision on the suit:
"The idea of wearing this suit and bow tie was mine’’ claiming that he wanted to ‘surprise and be different’’.
Different indeed Lionel. While many a hipster might feel he pulled off a superb niche look that could only have been topped off with a cravat and maybe a walking cane the general consensus was that the suit did not quite match the talent of the player being recognised for yet another phenomenal year.
While obviously he can wear whatever he wants when he is that good at football us mere mortals rarely get a chance to poke fun at the worlds greatest so when he wears a suit that would be described in The Inbetweener's as 'too jazzy' it is an opportunity we will flock toward.
When he wins it next year perhaps he could ask if Robbie Fowler still has 1996 FA Cup Final number; if he really wants to spring a surprise.
Here are some reactions from Twitter…
He may be the best player we've ever seen. But Lionel Messi's suit last night was awful!— Tiktaka (@TiktakaHQ) January 8, 2013
Messi's suit must die a painful death. Banish it back to whence it came… in Dani's closet.— Messa (@Barcelista) January 7, 2013
Messi wins 4th Ballon d'Or. Rightly So. DID YOU SEE THAT SUIT?!— Robert Courtney (@R_C_THREE) January 8, 2013
No one can argue that's messi is the greatest player now, although not the best dressed player ever. what was that suit?— max fitch (@max_fitch) January 8, 2013
Lionel Messi's Suit?? Is this a bet? twitter.com/RossPerry90/st…— Ross Perry (@RossPerry90) January 7, 2013
image: © prettyfriendship