• Saurabh Nagpal

Leo Messi's Magic Realism


 

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Often when people or experts talk about the Argentinian, they have to make avail of the language and vocabulary of magic, divinity, and super-humanness to describe him. Whenever I watch Messi, I can more often than not perceive his magic even if he doesn't disturb the scoreline, directly or indirectly. Recently, in my literature classes, I learned about the literary genre of magic realism, which originated in Latin America – the land where Messi too hails from – and how it shook the literary circles of the West and radically changed the novel form. One fine, random day, being an enthusiast of literature and football, I could see parallels and similarities between magic realism and Messi's manner of play, so I wrote the piece that I am pitching.

In this article, in an attempt to understand and elucidate Messi's style and the genre of magic realism, I (creatively) conflate the two. I try to read Messi's play as some literary critic might read a magic realist text. The main argument that I build on in the article is that how Messi opens new realities on the football greens, how magic in his game is the mundane, everyday reality.

Here's a snippet from the piece:


"Eduardo Galeano, in his book, Soccer in Sun and Shadow appropriately pens, “The technocracy of professional sport has managed to impose a soccer of lightning speed and brute strength, a soccer that negates joy, kills fantasy, and outlaws daring.” However, Leo Messi, Barcelona and Argentina’s magical reality, drops his shoulder, shifts his body weight, and gracefully ballets pasts this assertion to stand for everything Galeano was longing for. Even in this contemporary football industry, Messi makes us feel the sport with such an intensity, such a passion that we are moved to express his play while, simultaneously, failing to do justice to it in our expression. "


This article was published by Borderless – a literary journal. You can access by clicking on the following link: https://borderlessjournal.com/2021/09/14/leo-messis-magic-realism/

 

PC: sportstar.thehindu.com