For bloggers around the globe, honesty is the most important attribute. An entertaining, trustworthy blogger can become an impromptu ally to many readers. A friend, really. This is why I've decided to start off my career here at Pandagoal by being honest, for a change. No more confusing the issues with false, commie rhetoric for me. And I begin with an admission:


I love Leo Messi,

I remember back a few years ago when football experts around the globe spoke with we of the incredible talent and genius of Messi. And the diminutive Argentine has backed up all the talk on the field. Having just turned 22, Messi has already imprinted himself into the memory of fans around the planet. The incredible ball control, precision and focus are combined with speed and a goal-scorer's mentality make Messi already the most talented player on the planet. And there's more to come.

Because whether you like Barcelona or not, it's impossible not to be curious about how Barca's all-intellect attack squad of Messi, Thierry Henry and Zlatan Ibrahimovi? play together in 2009. When we last left Messi and Barca, they were busy humbling Manchester United and Cristiano Ronaldo in the Champions League final. And while Real Madrid has strengthened itself considerably by buying every star player under the sun, Barcelona enters the new season a favorite to garner more trophies both in Spain and in the Champions League.

More than his playing ability, though, I love Messi the man. He has grown up before our eyes, and his friendship and respect toward the great Ronaldinho Gaucho gave Messi another rare accomplishment - even Brazilian fans admire the skilled Argentina National. But through it all, Messi has maintained a soft-spoken image. He plays with a professional passion, and off the pitch he has been nothing but a gentleman. Having already seen Messi express his interest in staying with the club, Barca quickly responded by working to make him the top-payed player on the squad. Both for his on-field and off-field contributions.

Football players are a funny breed, though. Five years ago, who among us would have predicted the rapid demise of Ronaldinho? Injuries, ennui or a variety of other things could drag Messi back to the pack of professional football. But as of today, Messi is a man to admire. And as a sports fan, I'm just unable to contain my adoration. I just love that little guy.

--WKW