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TOPIC: lionel messi


Maestro Messi: Soccer As A True Art Form

The Argentine Lionel Messi is the personification of soccer sublime . He has come to move fans in ways that art lovers are moved by a painting.

This article was updated on Sep. 8, 2023 at 4:35 p.m.


BUENOS AIRES — Lionel Messi, that giant of soccer, is entering the twilight of his career by joining an American team, Inter Miami. He has received all the praise and glory anyone could in the world of sports, not to mention an ocean of publicity, online and offline, and all the money you could hope to earn. A while back, Marius Serra, a journalist with Barcelona paper La Vanguardia, counted 564 press articles on Messi in Spanish alone.

One is reminded of the "perfect beauty" evoked in one of Shakespeare's plays, mentioned in the novelist Stendhal's (1829) travel diary, Promenades dans Rome. Indeed, beside Messi's status as an icon for soccer fans from Buenos Aires to Bangladesh, is there an artistic dimension to this personage? His followers speak of him in superlative terms that suggest inspiration bordering on dizziness. That is how Stendhal felt viewing works of art in Florence.

One of his biggest fans is the Englishman Roy Hudson, a former footballer now based in Fort Lauderdale close to Miami. Recently he compared the exhilaration of watching Messi live to watching a Shakespeare play with the writer himself or watching Rembrandt paint. Millions of people living in Florida could now watch the greatest soccer player of all time, he said. In 2016, when Messi was in Barcelona, he compared him to the magician Houdini.

He has been a subject for at least two contemporary artists, Damien Hirst and Takashi Murakami. Hirst's triptych, Beautiful Messi Spin Painting for One in Eleven, sold for €448,000 for charity a decade ago. Though still young, he already boasts several biographies. One writer, Jordi Puntí, the author of Todo Messi, sees in him the concepts of lightness, speed, precision, visibility and multiplicity, which the Italian author Italo Calvino foresaw decades ago as shaping art and literature this century.

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Kyiv Air Attack, Greek Fire Record, U.S. Open Weed

👋 नमस्कार!*

Welcome to Wednesday, where army officers say they’ve seized power in Gabon, Kyiv is under fire in a major Russian air assault in Ukraine, and tennis players complain about wafts of weed at the U.S. Open. Meanwhile, The Puszcza Białowieska, one of Europe's oldest forests, has become a battleground not only for environment causes, but also for a geopolitical standoff over migration.

[*Namaskār - Marathi, India]

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Belgrade School Shooting, Sudan Ceasefire & Evacuations, Messi Mess

👋 Halò!*

Welcome to Wednesday, where Serbian police arrest a 14-year old suspect in a school shooting that left nine dead in Belgrade, warring parties agree to a seven-day ceasefire in Sudan, and soccer superstar Lionel Messi gets grounded by PSG. Meanwhile, Charlotte Meyer in French daily Les Echos wonders whether bringing back extinct animals is such a good idea after all …

[*Scottish Gaelic]

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Zelensky Invites Xi, King Charles In Germany, Amsterdam v. British Lads

👋 Hyvää päivää!*

Welcome to Wednesday, where Volodymyr Zelensky formally invites Xi Jinping to Kyiv, top French banks raided in fraud probe, and Amsterdam is trying to keep British bachelor parties at bay. Meanwhile, Chinese-language media The Initium shines a light on the quiet emergence of China's gay senior community.


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In The News
Ginevra Falciani & Inès Mermat

Ukraine Interior Minister Killed In Helicopter Crash, Greta v. Polizei, World’s Oldest Person Dies

👋 Halo!*

Welcome to Wednesday, where Ukraine’s interior minister is among 18 killed in a helicopter crash near Kyiv, the world’s oldest person dies at 118, and Greta Thunberg is briefly detained by German police. Meanwhile, London-based, Persian-language Kayhan wonders what’s behind the Iranian Supreme Leader’s repeated allusions to the end of the Shah's rule.

[*Bislama, Vanuatu]

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Ignacio Pereyra

Argentina Forever? I'll Remember Every World Cup Moment, My Son May Forget It All

Reflections from a still celebrating padre ...

“I’m overwhelmed and I’m not even Argentinian — happy to see people happy,” a friend who lives in Greece, where his partner is from, wrote to me. My friend, who is half-German and half-American, was moved by the jubilant images of millions of people celebrating in the streets of Argentina after Lionel Messi lifted the World Cup in Qatar.

His message came to me while I was reading about how the title might or might not affect the country and its people, but, above all, as I was also asking myself something simpler: Why are Argentine fans so happy — even weeks after winning the World Cup?

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In The News
Renate Mattar, Laure Gautherin and Anne-Sophie Goninet

Zelensky Goes To Washington, Taliban New Women Ban, Santa Swims In Bangkok

👋 Haia!*

Welcome to Wednesday, where Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky arrives in Washington on his first trip abroad since the Russian invasion, Taliban ban female students from university, and Lionel Messi becomes an Instagram world champion. Meanwhile, Russian-language independent website Vazhnyye Istorii/Important Stories reports on the situation in Chechnya, where strongman Ramzan Kadyrov’s strong pro-Russian rhetoric is at odds with the country’s real commitment to Moscow.


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In The News
Anne-Sophie Goninet, Hannah Steinkopf-Frank and Jane Herbelin

Omicron Origins, Barbados Reborn, Messi’s 7th

👋 Tashi delek!*

Welcome to Tuesday, where Barbados is finally fully independent, we learn more about the origins of the Omicron variant and Santa gets a boyfriend in Norway. Chilean-based business magazine America Economia also looks at how airlines are reconfiguring cabins and enlarging seats in hopes of boosting a recovery in air travel.


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Meike Eijsberg and Bertrand Hauger

Missiles Fired At Kabul Airport, New EU Travel Restrictions, Octopus Shell Shock

Welcome to Monday, where U.S. defense systems intercept missiles fired at Kabul's airport, Hurricane Ida leaves New Orleans in the dark and researchers find you don't want to mess with your octopus lady. Meanwhile, Italian daily La Stampa takes the (extreme) temperature of farming as recurring droughts hit the country.

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Rémi Dupré

Messi In Paris: Qatar's Long Game With The Argentine Icon

The legendary soccer star of FC Barcelona has signed up with the Parisian club, owned by the Emirate since 2011...and just in time for the World Cup slated next year in Qatar.

PARIS — Despite his inexhaustible fortune, did Sheikh Tamin Al-Thani ever think he would be able to acquire such a player to add to his sporting showcase? Ten years after buying Paris-Saint-Germain (PSG), the Emir of Qatar can now see the Argentine prodigy Lionel Messi, the best footballer of (at least) this century, don the jersey of the French capital's club.

On Tuesday, after five days of negotiations, the longtime FC Barcelona star agreed to play for the team coached by his compatriot Mauricio Pochettino: he signed for two seasons, with an additional year as an option (for an annual salary of over 30 million euros, excluding bonuses).

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British Mess, Fallujah Freed, Leo Leaving


Whatever the result, last Thursday's referendum was always going to leave Britain deeply divided. It was also bound to divide the UK's major political parties, whose leaders now face the daunting task of both negotiating the best possible exit deal and bringing the country together, avoiding, if possible, a breakup of the United Kingdom itself.

The clear victory for the Brexit side has already cost Prime Minister David Cameron his job. But as former London Mayor Boris Johnson — a Cameron rival and leader of the Leave camp — looks to muscle into the Conservative Party leadership, it may be the reverberations on Britain's main opposition Labour party that may wind up being harder to resolve. And the more internal strife in the UK, the harder it will be to negotiate its exit from the European Union. What we are set to witness may be more than just a major, messy divorce, but a series of messy divorces.

  • OPPOSITION IN DISARRAY The leader of the opposition Labour party, Jeremy Corbyn, was forced to appoint a new shadow cabinet this morning after at least 12 members left their top party roles over the weekend, in the wake of the Brexit result. A number of Labour MPs are blaming Corbyn for the party's failure to convince Labour voters to back the Remain campaign. Thought to be more eurosceptic that euro-enthusiast, the 67-year-old leftist had been challenged by more centrist Labour members since his surprising election in September 2015. Corbyn so far resisted calls to resign in what The Guardian is describing as a "coup."
  • PETITIONS A petition to demand a second referendum, with stricter rules, has garnered more than 3.6 million signatures, but at least some of the signatures are fraudulent. Another petition wants to make London independent.
  • SCOTTISH BLOCKADE Scotland' First Minister Nicola Sturgeon reiterated threats to hold a new referendum for Scottish independence from the UK. She also said that the Scottish parliament could veto the UK's exit from the European Union.
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Anne Sophie Goninet

Champions League: Loving Lionel Messi In 7 Languages

All eyes are on legendary Argentine striker Lionel Messi ahead of Saturday night's Barcelona-Juventus final of the Champions League. Here's our world tour of gasps and shouts of amazement for the best soccer player of his generation. Olé!