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Messi has world in his hands

BARCELONA, April 7 – Barcelona's Argentinian superstar Lionel Messi's extraordinary one man demolition of English side Arsenal in their Champions League quarter-final second leg here on Tuesday earned the player known as 'The Flea' plaudits from friend and foe alike.

The 22-year-old’s first ever four goal haul – he had already accrued three hat-tricks in 2010 – in the 4-1 defeat of Arsenal (6-3 on aggregate) gave the Champions League holders a date with Italian champions Inter Milan in the semi-finals.

His performance left all and sundry wide eyed with admiration.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is never one for overdoing praise of players from opposing teams, but the erudite Frenchman had no hesitation at where he placed Messi in the present pantheon of top players.

"He (Messi) is the best player in the world, by a distance," said Wenger, who had also come off second best to Barcelona in the 2006 final.

"He is not always in the game but when he is he is unstoppable. He can change direction at any time and leave his marker or defender going in the opposite direction and chasing air."

For Barcelona president Joan Laporta there was just one term he could use for the world player of the year, who was the sixth player to record a quadruple in a Champions League match and the first since Andrei Shevchenko scored four for AC Milan against Fenerbahce in November 2005.

"There was an incredible genius in this match: Leo (Messi)," said Laporta.

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"He finished off his chances in magisterial style."

Barca coach Pep Guardiola, no mean player himself when he bore the Barcelona colours, paid a handsome tribute to Messi, though, he was also highly complimentary of the lesser lights of the team.

"Messi was out of this world, the difference between the two sides," said the 39-year-old, who won the Champions League as a player with Barcelona in 1992.

"He is a special player, on a different plane to others."

A shellshocked Arsenal goalkeeper Manuel Almunia – whose stunning saves in the first 10 minutes of the first leg in London last week had effectively kept the match alive – was equally complimentary.

"He is a brilliant player and he was fantastic in this game," said the Spanish goalkeeper.

"As a goalkeeper you try to anticipate what he’s going to do but he can do whatever he wants and when he wants to.

"He couldn’t score in the first leg but tonight was another matter. He is the best player I have ever faced. I have a bad memory of tonight but he is the best player in the world."

For Danish international striker Nicklas Bendtner, whose early goal proved a false dawn for Arsenal, Messi’s performance left him awestruck.

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"If you lose a game, you want to lose it against a performance like that," said Bendtner.

"Messi is a phenomenal player."

Arsenal’s French defender Mikael Silvestre, who inadvertently created Messi’s first goal when the ball cannoned off his shin to the Argentinian, said it was virtually impossible to handle the Barcelona maestro.

"Messi is phenomenal in the way he reads the game and in his movement," said Silvestre, who was somewhat surprisingly chosen ahead of veteran Sol Cmapbell to start the match.

"For his last goal, that was typical of his whole performance this evening.

"He has moments when he disappears to get a breather, which then readies him for what comes afterwards, when he has the opportunities to get into his stride. It is true he is unstoppable once he gets going on the ball."

For Messi, though, his focus had moved on very quickly from the match.

"I am delighted with this victory," said Messi, whose four goals took his total to 119 for Barcelona.

"However, we have to carry on our work. We have a really important match on Saturday (against Real Madrid who lead them in the title race on goal difference).

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"We have to win there even if it is just by one goal."

4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Espico

    December 17, 2014 at 9:26 am

    Kenya is a republic and in its basic definition, Republic is rule by law. We have the constitution which is the set of rules governing this country. We have democratised the Kenyan republic but democracy also means the citizens have power to vote on/pass laws. Elected representatives, and NOT leaders, have powers invested in them by citizens to implement the rules, something that many so called elected “leaders” have forgotten. Thus parliament and the president have to get permission from Kenyans before they can amend any part of the constitution. It is only in monarchies where Kings can institute laws by decree. This is what Esipisu and the rest of the elected representatives have to understand first before suggesting that the president should be given powers to decree.

    On the issue of prevention of crime before it happens as he explains it in the above article, Esipisu is trying to actualise the dystopian worlds of Aldous Huxley’s A Brave New World and George Orwell’s 1984, tales that explain how totalitarian governments come in to being. It is also imperative for Kenyans to study the history of terrorism the world over from a variety of alternative sources to understand the forces behind the current spate of terrorism in the country. The picture of a very well coordinated support system from well known institutions with well known agenda for terrorist activities will emerge from the current belief that terrorists are dysfunctional elements of the society and their attacks are solely for religious or political reasons.

  2. Qwani

    December 17, 2014 at 3:54 pm

    The opposition in Kenya has gone to the dogs. When bills are presented, they reject them wholesale just for the sake of it. When invited to offer alternatives, they will say it is not their business to do so.
    Even at this very moment, it is clear to most if not all Kenyans that our security structures are simply not working effectively. To suggest that we have dialogue or possibly even a referendum to make the necessary changes borders on lunacy.
    If indeed the buck stops with the President, then it is only fair that he be given all the necessary instruments to do his job.
    May the bill sail through!!!

  3. MKm

    December 19, 2014 at 6:43 am

    I agree with Esipisu that media freedoms have been misused to some extent, it is sad to see also the political freedoms misused all In the name of being in opposition to the government. I totally disagree with the opposition’s decision to decide that they can not contribute to improving the situation at hand directly but rather take the long route to campaign in order to up there position come 2017.
    It is very sad to here a CORD member say that it is not their work to help the government clear the mess. I will say this and I believe many Kenyans agree with me, come 2017 and the government has made all it can and you have made every effort to frustrate the government’s course without contributing positively, you will most likely have a higher chance of loosing than if you were more positive. It is all about the wellbeing of the Kenyan voter. Think about it .

  4. Jongere

    December 22, 2014 at 2:19 pm

    Dear the Presidential Mouthpiece,

    Your article here together with the infamous reaction
    of President Uhuru Kenyatta immediately after the first terrorist attack left
    many well-wishers speechless and amazed since the AlShabab had claimed the
    attack.

    I do not support any political entity and I am not
    overtly enthusiastic of any particular politician. I shun political system
    where the tendency obscurity is largely applied and you know it from the theory
    of obscurantism. Pass my message to your boss without fear:

    Son of Jomo you have missed this time to turn Kenya again
    to Imperial Presidency by an attempt to use your shoddy drafters to encroach in
    to the Supreme Law and a case in point the Chapter4 inter alia. This particular
    chapter is the jewel of the constitution and be altered or changed by a
    mandatory referendum 255 (1) (e) and even (f) as well.

    After the
    withdrawal of ICC (God forbid they are not yet done with you), you apparently grew
    horns and act in a hurry. We have this security problem since many a years and
    this sudden hurry raised eyebrows. That was a sign of procrastination or malice
    to execute a certain sinister act that can cause the country so dearly. Rat
    race tactics applied by Nazis, Stalin has no place in modern Kenya no matter
    how much support one has. 2017 is a solid 2 years and more from now. There is
    enough time to just do the mandate. Yes, the opposition is “noise makers” but
    to defeat them do not show despotic tendencies for the sake of our nation. You
    can use instrument of the state but that would be acrimonious and can lead to
    something else.

    African
    (Kenyan) political class must learn the philosophy of the rule of law and those
    of checks and balances.

    Moreso our top leaders should read the work of the
    Frenchman Montesquieu the celebrated Lawyer (scholar) who developed the
    Doctrine of the Separation of Powers and the Principle of Constitutional
    Doctrine of Separation of Power in the Commonwealth, the work of Locke (English
    Legal System). When people ascert that the back stops with the President you
    cannot start grambling that the constitution is defective, it is not a licence
    to encroach in to the Constitution. That is tantamount to blackmail and people
    blackmailed are not the political opponents but the blinded political
    supporters. The opponents have an option of going to the trenches but the
    supporters are captivated and the resultant outcome is the smell of death,
    traumas of sorts then the ICC.

    Draconian laws pushed without concensus because of a
    hidden agenda and overt ego cannot do. Desaster.

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