World Cup’s Modern Elder: Lionel Messi.

December 22, 2022

World Cup’s Modern Elder: Lionel Messi.

May 29, 2023

It’s uplifting to see the world come together for a single event. It doesn’t happen all that often. But, the World Cup is one of those times.

And, this year’s festivities had a storyline that was poignant for any modern elder taking notice. Argentina’s Lionel Messi is certainly an elder at age 35 and he’s been pining for his dream of seeing his home country win the World Cup again for the first time since he was barely born.

Thanks to MEA alum Debbie Campbell for introducing me to The Atlantic’s article amplifying the value of wisdom on the soccer field. And, this quote totally captured why Messi can be an inspiration for all of us:

"That’s the counterpoint to Messi’s victory. Without the legs to carry him, Messi economized his movements. Rather than pretending that he was a young man, he played like an older one. He ambled through games, saving himself for the moments that he could assert himself. He showed a remarkable awareness about how he might be able to parcel out his dwindling corporeal self, how he needed to make choices about when to give himself fully.”

Of course, based upon our age differences, Messi could be my son, but I relate to what The Atlantic’s journalist writes here. As we age, we pick our moments. We don’t sweat the small stuff. We adapt our game to optimize our strengths. And, the world - especially Argentina - is better off for it.

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