Lionel Messi is undoubtedly among the most beloved footballers of all time. Everyone around the globe (apart from French fans and Ronaldo fanboys) loved watching him lift the coveted FIFA World Cup trophy last year and add that one missing gem to his chest of gold.
Not only is Messi a beloved icon in football but is a revered sportsperson who is respected and influential by many prominent names. As a matter of fact, many Tennis Players have also been inspired by Leo and love watching him do his magic on the football pitch.
Recently, Messi was named as part of TIME Magazine’s Top 100 Most Influential People of 2023. There is no real ‘ranking’ in this aspect, but Messi was included in this prestigious category – being the only footballer to get the honor as well. Moreover, a special Tennis ‘GOAT’ was the one to pen special memorabilia for him after the achievement.
Roger Federer’s Beautiful Tribute to Leo Messi
None other than Tennis legend Roger Federer was the one to pen a tribute to Messi in wake of his inclusion in the Time 100 category. Federer is among the best players of all time in his sport, having won 19 singles Grand Slam Titles in his career and been world no.1 for 310 weeks!
Federer wrote a brilliant little memorabilia for Messi, which stated:
Lionel Messi’s goal-scoring records and championship wins need no recounting here. What stands out to me about Messi, 35, is his consistent greatness over so many years. This is so difficult to achieve, and then maintain. He dribbles like a magician, and his angular passes are works of art. His awareness and anticipation are almost beyond comprehension.
My career has just come to an end. I now realize how much weight we athletes carry. But in our daily lives, we don’t even realize it. For a football player like Messi, that weight likely feels more massive, as he represents both a world-renowned club and a very passionate country.
Argentina’s World Cup victory was magnificent. Millions of fans’ taking to the streets of Buenos Aires to celebrate was an amazing moment in sports, witnessed around the world. Even those who don’t follow football must have realized the true impact of the world’s most popular game.
Growing up, Diego Maradona and Gabriel Batistuta were my favorite Argentine players. I was lucky enough to meet both of them. They inspired me. Now Messi can inspire future generations.
I can only hope we get to see his unique creativity and artistry for a little bit longer. Don’t blink too often as Messi performs on the pitch. You may miss something incredible from the man of the moment.
The Other Tennis Legends to Have Heaped Praises on Messi
Federer isn’t the only prominent Tennis legend to have showcased their love for Messi in the past. He remains a major favorite for many of his fellow iconic sportsmen and has wowed them to the point when they’ve been compelled to express their admiration for him.
Rafael Nadal, the best player in Clay Court history, couldn’t control his emotions after seeing Leo win the World Cup. He said after Argentina’s thrilling win over France
When Messi scored the third goal, tears came to my eyes. It was because of the emotion of seeing someone so great achieve what was missing, having suffered so much to achieve it.
Nadal could probably relate his hard work and upwards road to win a Wimbledon title to Messi’s climb to win the World Cup.
Leo has also attracted a lot of praise from current Tennis World No.1 and reigning Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic, who praised Leo after he won the World Cup:
I was really fortunate to be there present. By many people, it’s the best World Cup final ever.
As a sports fan, and as a football fan, of course, I admire Messi and respect him a lot. I think most of the world is happy with his achievement and what he has managed to do.
Him being humble, a down-to-earth guy, not taken away by success. All these years is something I feel serves as a great example to all the children that look up to him, they want to be like him.
Messi’s heroics at the Qatar World Cup for Argentina also wowed British Tennis Legend Andy Murray, who posted a barrage of tweets all throughout the tournament to voice his love for Leo.
These comments prove that Messi has secured a truly legendary status in not just football, but sports as a whole and will always be remembered as one of the very sportspersons to ever grace humankind.
Leave a comment