The case for Lionel Messi for SI’s 2015 Sportsman of the Year


“To understand just how good Lionel Messi was this year, you have to go back to his lowest point. It was January 4, Messi started on substitutes’ bench and Barcelona lost 1-0 at lowly Real Sociedad. The following day, Messi missed training with ‘a stomach bug,’ which is a euphemism in Spain for playing hooky. Andoni Zubizarreta, Barcelona’s sporting director, was sacked. Luis Enrique, the coach, was said to have offered to resign. Sandro Rosell, the president, resigned soon after over transfer irregularities. English clubs were readying bids for Messi. In short, Barcelona was in crisis.” SI

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