One of Messi’s most distinctive assets is his dribbling ability, which has often left defenders for dead. Stats taken from the 2014 World Cup show that the Argentine superstar was the best dribbler of the tournament, and by far.
Messi, of course, makes it all look really simple. But then again he’s no ordinary player, which is why we’re going to take a look at the science behind his insane dribbling.
A low center of gravity contributes to his incredible balance
A factor that greatly contributes to Messi’s insane dribbling is his slight frame. At 5ft 7in he boasts of a low center gravity, enabling him to achieve a perfect combination of balance, agility, and speed. His short stature was often taken as a weakness by opposition players when he first started; that allowed Messi to unsuspectingly break free from his shackles with some neat footwork, and score some truly memorable goals in the process.
One could say that it was Messi’s destiny to become one of football’s greatest dribblers. He was never going to have the height of his much taller peers, or the muscles of Cristiano Ronaldo, which left dribbling as the only realistic aspect of his game to perfection. And to say that he has done exactly that would be a tremendous understatement.
Speed also has a great part to play in Messi’s magic-like ball control. Studies have shown that a footballer’s muscles are flooded with lactic acid after high-speed dribbling, and to this, a footballer must be gifted with intense speed – which Messi has in abundance.
His pint-sized stature also allows him to endure more exertion than a lot of his peers.
Swedish study cites intense brainwork as his main weapon
Another factor that has undoubtedly contributed to Messi’s dribbling expertise is his sheer hard work as a lad at La Masia. While growing up Messi was well aware of the fact that he was a bit different from the other boys due to his growth hormone defect, and that he wouldn’t grow to be as tall as an average human being. However, his indomitable willpower, which we know so well today, spurred him on and created the dribbler we know today.
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