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Soccer News of Wednesday, 30 August 2023


When Messi embarrassed embattled Spanish FA Boss Luis Rubiales in his playing days

The photo used to illustrate the story The photo used to illustrate the story

Luis Rubiales did not see this coming. When he kissed Jenni Hermoso on the lips during the award ceremony of the 2023 Women's World Cup, he must have thought this would be one of the issues he could sweep under the carpet like the many others Spanish Women footballers allege he has.

But 10 days after Spain overrode all internal wrangles to win their maiden World Cup, the story has refused to go away with a new twist every day.

In less than two weeks, Hermoso has revealed she did not appreciate the gesture, FIFA has suspended Rubiales, Spain's top crop of players have sworn not to be available for international duty, Rubiales' mother has reportedly gone on a hunger strike to add to the vicious press conference he conducted himself of, 'I will not resign.' Among other crazy developments.

Rubiales should have known that when you are a public figure, a controversial one for that matter, everything is on the cards. His playing career has now been dragged to the mess and he couldn't have landed at a worse vending machine - one of a guy called Lionel Messi, who appears diminutive but dispenses opponents with tricks very few can replicate.

Rubiales' turn to be 'dispensed' came during his playing days. He came up against a raring Messi in 2007. At that time, the Argentine wasn't who he was today. You know, GOAT, the best we have ever seen, legend, Messiah and all those names his fans call him, but he was headed somewhere - and it showed.

What did Messi do to Rubiales?

The Barcelona man faced Rubiales, then 32 years old and a full-back for Levante. Messi instantly made him rethink his life choices and why he had chosen football as a career in the first place.

With one slick feint, the youngster who would later win seven Ballon d'Or titles in his career left Rubiales completely dazed and unaware of his surroundings. He then repeated the same trick in the same game and the script was the same - Rubiales couldn't get anywhere close to him.

He was later that year shipped to Scottish side Hamilton, where he only played three games before calling it quits as captured by Transfermarkt.

Messi got him good.

You'd think that that is enough embarrassment for one man, but as he continues to hold his ground over the Hermoso saga, pressure continues to mount and the more the embarrassment.

Sad thing Hermoso and the rest of the aggrieved Spanish W players can't send Messi to administer another dose of self-realisation. Because boy, there is no big difference between that young Messi and the current 36-year-old in Miami. Just a tonne of more trophies and achievements.