Lionel Messi’s Final Match

They came up with plans to prevent suicide and tackle climate change. Then on Day 4 of the reality TV challenge came a final twist. Lionel Messi sat down with the people around him…

Lionel Messi’s Final Match

They came up with plans to prevent suicide and tackle climate change. Then on Day 4 of the reality TV challenge came a final twist.

Lionel Messi sat down with the people around him in an open-plan office in the football section of the Santiago Bernabeu. On a computer screen, the Argentine forward pulled out a sheet of paper and began to recite the names of the other players. The first names he reached were his: Raúl Hernández, Sergio Ramos, Jordi Alba, Diego Costa and Messi.

The rest of the group, who had not been present at this stage, were already on their way out the door. Most had to be at their clubs in Spain when the broadcast started. Messi sat through the rest of the presentation, including speeches from the four presidents of the Catalan national team. He then looked up from his paper.

“I’m here to show you that nothing is impossible,” he said.

The first to leave was Hernández. “You see, I don’t have to go, they can keep me,” he said in his calm, understated tone. Costa left after just a few minutes, and Alba a few minutes later. Messi, the most complete player in world football, with three Ballon d’Or awards and an array of accolades under his belt, did not have to leave.

He had decided he could not play his final match for Barcelona. The players knew this. They had given up a long time ago, believing they could not win a trophy and could not live life to the limit. The reality was that nothing was impossible.

The final twist came at 2am in the early hours of Day 4. While the other players had gone to the pitch to play their final game for Barcelona, Messi decided to stay in the Barcelona room.

The club’s director of marketing, Alejandro de la Maza, had just told Messi in the

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