Crouch: Messi Would Become The Best Midfielder If He Played Deeper
Lionel Messi’s magical performance against Liverpool at the Nou Camp on Wednesday night prompted Peter Crouch to dedicate the majority of his Daily Mail column to the pint-sized Argentine genius.
Messi scored twice, including a sensational 35-yard free-kick that he curled into the top bins to make it 3-0 but that was just the icing on the cake for the five-time Ballon d’Or winner’s display on the whole.
In fact, the 31-year old was so good at dropping deep with the ball, spraying passes and generally running the show again that Crouch believes he’d be the best midfielder ever in addition to being the greatest player of all-time, if he changed position.
“Put it this way: if he dropped back down the pitch, he would become the best midfielder of all time,” Crouch wrote.
“His passing is extraordinary. It’s the little things he does. You see him floating and lurking in these pockets of space and then, suddenly, he will get the ball and start weaving his magic and spreading panic. The touch, the movement, the awareness are like nothing I have ever seen.”
The whole first section of Crouch’s first column is basically an ode to Messi – with the former England striker revealing he had to get to his feet to “acknowledge his genius” when the Barca talisman scored his 600th goal for the Blaugrana.
Crouch will forever be honoured that he got to share the pitch with the Barcelona captain – even if it was only for a couple of minutes – and plans to tell his grandkids all about it.
“There will come a point when I am able to tell my grandchildren that I shared a pitch with Messi,” the Burnley man explained.
“It might only amount to two minutes – 60 seconds, home and away, in a Champions League last-16 tie in 2007 – but it is in the record books.
“I will tell them repeatedly because he is the greatest footballer of all time. You try to think of new ways to talk about what he does and the best I can come up with is that he is a living monument; a footballer whom everyone should try to go to see at least once in their lives.”
Josep Maria Bartomeu has said that Messi “might even” play until he’s 45 years old “, so maybe there’s still time to see Messi conjure up more magic from a deeper position.