Isn't that where all great international players go after retirement?
Lionel Messi has shocked the world but not Mathew Hayden and Michael Hussey who saw it coming for a long time. Calling time on his international career, after missing a penalty in the Copa America Finals against Chile, Messi (short for mesmerize), is arguably the greatest player to have not won any of the world's great trophies.
From a very young age, Messi was very fond of clubbing. This transplanted into many of his successes against club sides across the world. Best known for being a goal vending machine for FC Barcelona, Messi is not retiring from club or franchise football.
Meanwhile, the BCCI always quick to lure great internationals into retirement, have refused to take responsibility for Messi's retirement. “He has retired and we respect that, if he wants to be part of the IPL in whatever capacity he deems fit, he is most welcome” Already unfounded rumours are doing the round that Messi will be part of the mini IPL to be hosted overseas.
New India coach, Anil Kumble could fast-track Messi's initiation into the new game. The upcoming series to the West Indies could serve as a perfect meeting point for Virat Kohli and Lionel Messi. It is learnt if Messi plays in the IPL, it will be for none other than Kohli's team, RCB. “RCB is yet to win the IPL, and even though many trophies have eluded Messi, we know how good he is at the franchise game, where you don't feel the pressure of playing for your country”, India and RCB skipper, Virat Kohli was heard saying. Fellow team mate and buddy, AB de Villiers’ echoed Virat’s words, “Messi is almost South African, and I welcome him in RCB...though he will be very much at home playing with the Proteas...we can all collectively choke...”
Still others feel that Messi was born to coach Mumbai Indians. Tendulkar was unusually outspoken when he said, “We have all the world's coaches but we do not yet have a football coach. Those who have followed Indian cricket will have seen how much Dhoni and Kohli and other Indian players love to play football before a cricket match. And if your football preparation isn't good, how can your cricket performance be any better?” Nita Ambani, a new appointee to the IOC has welcomed Messi in the Mumbai Indians’ family. Fielding coach, Jonty Rhodes, who named his child, India, has now branded the team, “Messi Indians”.
After finishing just above Kings XI Punjab in the IPL, Dhoni said he was a Manchester United supporter and would be happier if Lionel Messi joined another team. “Yes, he is a great player but like Rahane I don't know if his game is suited for Indian conditions. Even though he will start in the mini IPL, which is being held overseas, the main IPL will be held in India. We have arrived after a good combination after a string of defeats and injuries and you would have seen even our defeats were by narrow margins so we'd like to concentrate on the cricket than get too carried away by the football”
When asked what he thought of retiring from internationals, and if Messi's decision will affect him, he said had he been asked this question a few months back, he would have been reactionary, but he has now been advised to be minimal in his answers. Dhoni replied with a simple “No, we are very different individuals”
Not much is being made of Messi’s association with Tata Motors but it is learnt after driving the Nano, he regretted his decision to ever play the beautiful game which eventually led to his big-buck signing with the Indian major. It is still too early to say whether Tata is responsible for Messi’s final tata from international football.
(However plausible this may sound, this is largely a work of fiction.)