On Tuesday this week, in the 34th minute of the World Cup semi-final between Argentina and Croatia, in a 0:0 situation, a penalty was whistled in favor of the South Americans.
Captain Leo Messi cleared his teammates from the danger zone and took the kick.
Well, it was clear that this was his role in the script.
He is the main star, but who?
It is difficult for any player to kick penalties in these situations.
The gate suddenly looks as small as a matchbox and the goalkeeper as huge as Gulliver.
Instead of a distance of 11 meters it seems like three kilometers, and the legs, oh the legs, each one weighs a ton.
There are many players who willingly give up the pleasure;
that another sprayer will take over the responsibility.
Only that Messi's kick had a greater weight in the pages of history.
At 35, the seven-time World Player of the Year star knew this might be his last chance to bring the World Cup to Argentina.
And if he does, he will get a huge monkey off his back.
Not only Maradona, his countryman, will inscribe himself in letters of gold in the first chapter, but also the child born in Rosario, and it is possible that the question of the greatest footballer of all time will be decided for him and for many - on Sunday, in Qatar.
But hey, wait a minute, it's Messi, a star who earns many millions.
He could tell himself that even if he missed - he reached the honorable semi-final stage, the great Brazil flew in the quarter-finals and his position in world football is as stable as steel.
And if it doesn't fit, we will file a proper complaint.
So will miss.
So that's it, no.
Messi, who at the age of 11 was given growth hormones and grew up on dilapidated kurkar courts, has a mission he must finish before hanging up his boots.
He is the messenger who is supposed to bring salvation to millions of fans in Buenos Aires and to the Argentinian guys who live in my building, on the ground floor.
He can't miss, it's big on him and us.
Messi fired a perfect penalty into the top corner of the goal, not leaving the Croatians a shred of chance.
Power, precision, as if at night, in his bed, he worked on the drawings and planning the move.
From that moment the Argentine genius floated on the grass, his 35 years were not visible on him.
To think that at the beginning of the tournament Gary Neville, a former England and Manchester United player and today one of the top commentators, said that Messi is no longer scary.
From that day his voice is less audible.
Eight years ago, Messi and Argentina lost the World Cup final 1:0 to Germany, but the star, who won countless titles and received every compliment in the book, reaches the end of the film, and just before the credits roll, there are two options for the ending - the end and sparkles, or a tear-jerking tragedy.
As Messi walked off the pitch happily, Croatia's Luka Modric turned around with a sad look of finality.
If the Argentine is a superhero in the world of football, Modric is a human being who over the years has acquired inhuman abilities.
Parents whose children dream of becoming footballers - don't ask them to learn technique from the Argentine, because there's no point, but let them learn work ethic from the Croatian, that should be the model.
As for Messi this may be the last chance to bring a trophy, for the 37-year-old Modric it was certainly the finale in the big tournament.
And yet - for what this humble player has achieved during his career, he deserves a long standing ovation from any sports fan.
Modric himself carried Croatia to the World Cup final four years ago, and this year he returned it to the Big Four, turning a team that represents 4 million inhabitants into a sporting monster.
Character of a winner, unparalleled diligence and understanding of the game of a genius.
There aren't many players in the history of the game who understood the mechanics like he did, and I mean the engine components.
On Saturday, in the game for third place, at least he will receive a consolation prize, he certainly deserves it.
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