The world of sport was recently clutched in shock as news of Roger Federer’s retirement began to spread like wildfire.
The Swiss Icon bowed out of Tennis in a rather understated manner, he announced his retirement through a solitary statement which caught everyone off-guard.
During his 24-year-long career, the 40-year-old notched up 20 Grand Slams, earning his spot amongst the game’s undisputed GOATS.
Beyond the court, his personality is revered globally, and likening him to figures such as Muhammad Ali, Kobe Bryant, Michael Schumacher etc, is far from a stretch.
Fortunately, Federer received a proper farewell during the recently concluded Laver Cup, and the scenes carried significance not just for Tennis, but for the entirety of World Sport.
Aside from millions of fans, even his competitors were reduced to tears, an unparalleled display of mutual respect.
Numerous Footballers joined in congratulating ‘The King of Grass ‘, including an equally admired athlete, Lionel Messi.
The 35-year-old has his sights firmly set on the Qatar World Cup, but fans can’t help but wonder if this will be the Argentine’s final act with the national team.
For millions, Messi was the gateway into football itself, a player so mesmeric, so outrageously extraordinary that even those unfamiliar couldn’t help but tune in.
The records and titles speak for themselves, the PSG man is one of the most significant stars in football, and sporting history.
As such, fans dread the day he decides to hang up his boots, a notion shared by Argentina manager Lionel Scaloni.
The 44-year-old spoke on the matter after a 3-0 win over Jamaica, one which saw Messi score twice, “I enjoy him just like you. He is like Federer. He retired and the entire world got emotional thinking he won’t be here anymore. It was wonderful to see him play. The same thing with him, although much more because football is a sport that moves much more. It’s why the entire world enjoys him, regardless of the country.”
It’s hard to argue with Scaloni, after all, just his departure from Barcelona had the world standing still.
The thought of never seeing ‘Messi magic’ unfold on the pitch ever again is saddening for almost any fan, regardless of their national and Club allegiances.
Scaloni further cemented his significance to the game by saying,
“I have the possibility of coaching him but if I were a fan, I would pay the ticket. The only thing left is to enjoy him because I don’t know if there will ever be anything like him.”
There’s no better time than this to simply appreciate his genius, to peer through a purely footballing lens and have your eyebrows raised by the 5’6 wizard.
One can only hope that Messi’s farewell features a moment along with Ronaldo, akin to Nadal and Federer. Safe to say, it’ll have the entire world weeping.