The Calm and The Storm: Lionel Messi’s Moment

By Anthony Lopopolo

When he was a kid, Lionel Messi used to take a one-hour siesta in the afternoon. He would sleep 10 hours a night. He wasn’t really bothered. 

He is still a pretty calm guy at 27 years old, by accounts of his teammates and those around him. “You see him warming up and he’s as calm as a kid who’s going to play on the field around the corner,” said Fernando Signorini, Argentina’s fitness trainer, in the book Messi: A Biography. The Maracanã, the World Cup final, is not exactly a game on a field around the corner, but it is his last frontier, the chance to be fully embraced by the country he left when he was 11, to share the same mantle as Maradona.

Messi understands this moment. “My hopes and dreams are being fulfilled due to the hard work and sacrifice of a team that has given everything from match one,” he wrote on Facebook. But this feels almost more about his own legacy than it does about Argentina.

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We’ve waited four years for this weekend - AFR Voice

And then there were two. With two equally compelling semi-finals from the opposite ends of the footballing spectrum now complete, we now know that it’ll be either Germany or Argentina taking a 6.1kg, 36.8cm high World Cup souvenir back home with them.

One side that most certainly won’t be in the Maracana on Sunday is the tournament’s generous hosts. Join the pod as they discuss how things went so horribly wrong for Brazil, the ruthlessness of a German side of have tasted big game defeats so frequently of late, and where the game in Brazil goes from here.

It may have not had all of the drama of the other semi, but nevertheless Argentina did just enough to make their way to the tournament’s final hurdle, and end Louis van Gaal’s reign as Dutch coach on a bittersweet note. With the world’s attention turning to Lionel Messi and the bizarre scenario of the little man being forced to forge his own legacy at the ripe old age of 27, the guys weigh up Argentina’s chances against Germany, and give some very much less than convincing predictions for Sunday’s showpiece event.

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Eight by Eight Magazine x The World Cup

While they won’t be lifting any cups with 800 million people watching, Eight by Eight Magazine have gone all out to do the world’s biggest sporting event justice in their new World Cup issue.

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"It’s A Beautiful Game"
As we welcome in 2014, we collaborated with Dan Leydon to take a step back and reflect on the simple joy of kicking a ball.
Paying homage to the wonderful It’s A Magical World comic, Calvin and Hobbes became Carles (Puyol) and Leo (Messi).
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While headlines rightfully focus on revealing FIFA’s 8 circles of corruption or the insanity of footballers begging for an extra £15,000-a-week in wages, it’s important to remember why we love this game. Whether it was staying out to play until the sun disappeared or grabbing a ball with a friend and hitting free kicks in six inches of snow, these are the roots of the game, and they’re worth remembering.
Thank you all for your support in 2013. Here’s to a New Year!

- Eric and the entire AFR Team

Oh, and you should follow Dan Leydon on Twitter & Tumblr.

"It’s A Beautiful Game"

As we welcome in 2014, we collaborated with Dan Leydon to take a step back and reflect on the simple joy of kicking a ball.

Paying homage to the wonderful It’s A Magical World comic, Calvin and Hobbes became Carles (Puyol) and Leo (Messi).

Read More

As close as you can get to tracking Messi
The living legend’s finally showing up for his nation, and Argentina are swiftly on their way to qualifying for the World Cup. This past weekend, Lionel Messi was in fine form as Argentina beat Venezuela 3-0. TV Publica in Argentina had a camera on Leo the whole match, and while it’s not Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait, this compilation is just as mesmerizing. [Posted by Eric]

As close as you can get to tracking Messi

The living legend’s finally showing up for his nation, and Argentina are swiftly on their way to qualifying for the World Cup. This past weekend, Lionel Messi was in fine form as Argentina beat Venezuela 3-0. TV Publica in Argentina had a camera on Leo the whole match, and while it’s not Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait, this compilation is just as mesmerizing. [Posted by Eric]

The comeback / La remontada

The Copa del Rey was lost. Doubt was rising throughout Europe, but Barça showed us that nothing has changed. Before the match, Piqué said, “Any fan who doesn’t think we can turn it round against Milan should give his ticket for the game to someone who does.” The Camp Nou crowd supported their side all night long. This one was for Tito, and it was a performance for the ages.

[Posted by Eric. Gifs by Dale Con Comba]

'He is like a Playstation player.'  – Arsène Wenger, 2010
Life is impossible to perfectly recreate, and football, restricted by reality, is the same. Video games are simply a reduced reflection of that on which they are based, and can never compete with the real thing – but that’s only obvious. There is only so much that current technology can achieve in taking life and art to the same level. There are only so many fingers on two hands, and only so many buttons and triggers that can be pushed at once. There are only so many different combinations resulting in only so many movements on the screen. A virtual Lionel Messi is good, but he has his limits.
The Messi that scored 91 goals in 2012 , that has won the Ballon d’Or for a fourth time, seemingly has no such limits. Wenger was wrong to compare him to the artificial imitation. The real Messi is far better.
We’re delighted to be working with Matheus, the man behind 8-bit Football, as we head into 2013. Words by Max Grieve.

'He is like a Playstation player.' – Arsène Wenger, 2010

Life is impossible to perfectly recreate, and football, restricted by reality, is the same. Video games are simply a reduced reflection of that on which they are based, and can never compete with the real thing – but that’s only obvious. There is only so much that current technology can achieve in taking life and art to the same level. There are only so many fingers on two hands, and only so many buttons and triggers that can be pushed at once. There are only so many different combinations resulting in only so many movements on the screen. A virtual Lionel Messi is good, but he has his limits.

The Messi that scored 91 goals in 2012 , that has won the Ballon d’Or for a fourth time, seemingly has no such limits. Wenger was wrong to compare him to the artificial imitation. The real Messi is far better.

We’re delighted to be working with Matheus, the man behind 8-bit Football, as we head into 2013. Words by Max Grieve.

A morning like any other, by Dan Leydon
After Messi picked up his fourth consecutive Ballon D’Or, I thought AFR’s audience would appreciate the humour of my take on where he keeps the trophies themselves. I wanted to communicate how unaffected by personal trophies he is. After some deliberation I came to the conclusion that the best way to do this was to show him integrating the pieces into his everyday life. In a way, this mundane task also humanises him.
In reference to the artwork itself, I’ve wanted to do comics that communicate without using speech. Hopefully they are that bit more immersive than my regular work.
We’re delighted to feature Dan’s work on AFR. Find him on: Twitter / Tumblr / Etsy.

A morning like any other, by Dan Leydon

After Messi picked up his fourth consecutive Ballon D’Or, I thought AFR’s audience would appreciate the humour of my take on where he keeps the trophies themselves. I wanted to communicate how unaffected by personal trophies he is. After some deliberation I came to the conclusion that the best way to do this was to show him integrating the pieces into his everyday life. In a way, this mundane task also humanises him.

In reference to the artwork itself, I’ve wanted to do comics that communicate without using speech. Hopefully they are that bit more immersive than my regular work.

We’re delighted to feature Dan’s work on AFR. Find him on: Twitter / Tumblr / Etsy.

Christmas Special - AFR Voice Ep8

With Christmas drawing near, and the European leagues taking a well-earned rest (while the Premier League does quite the opposite), AFR Voice has delved into its sack of festive audio treats to bring you all of the action from the PL and the rest of Europe over the last couple of weeks.

We’ll be taking a good look at all things Premier League, where Marouane Fellaini has been losing his head by using his head, Reading vs Arsenal continues to be possibly the most goal heavy fixture of all time, and QPR get warmed up for a busy January transfer window with their first win in the top flight since what feels like about 1994.

We’ll then be hopping in our sleigh and shooting over to Japan to pick up the pieces from Chelsea’s beating at the hands of Corinthians in the Club World Cup Final, before doubling back to Europe to see why Lionel Messi can’t stop scoring, why Sebastien Giovinco really should be kept on the Juventus bench for the foreseeable future, and why kitchens in Dortmund are soon to be the cleanest on the continent.

As always, you can get in touch with the team by tweeting @AFRvoice or emailing afrvoice@gmail.com. You can also subscribe to AFR Voice on iTunes and find us on Soundcloud.

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