Much has been said about Lionel Messi and his ability to lead from the front despite him being a leader at Barcelona and Argentina for more than a decade. Messi, in spite of his otherworldly footballing abilities, has always been criticised for not being more vocal and inspiring in precarious situations. However, the 33-year-old is portraying a different role in recent times, and its latest example was seen during the Super cup clash against Real Sociedad.

Lionel Messi has always been a quiet guy, a person who came in, did his job and left. But this year, despite questions being raised about his loyalty to Barcelona, the Argentine has shown a completely new side of him on the field and off it as well. He has been more vocal, more demanding, encouraging and can be seen maturing as a person, footballer and leader.

muscular problem restricted Lionel Messi from taking part in the Spanish Super Cup semi-final clash against Real Sociedad but the Argentine wasn’t far away from the action. Despite his injury, the 33-year-old was present in the stadium, encouraging his team from the sides as they triumphed on penalties to book a place in the finals.

The Barcelona skipper after the competition of normal time was seen near the dugout, giving tactical instructions to several of his team-mates and along with manager Ronald Koeman was coaching his players throughout the added time. The Argentine was also present during the penalty shoot-out, supporting his colleagues from the sidelines.

The Argentine, may not have been able to impact the game in a way he would have liked, but his presence on the touchline must have provided his team-tames with great confidence, seeing their skipper cheering on for them displaying a side of him which was unseen to many in the footballing world.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jan 14, 2021 06:02 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website