It’s Over, It’s Done

Aditya Gaonkar
4 min readDec 20, 2022

When I wrote a tribute to Messi last year after his stunning and untimely exit from Barcelona, I had thought that it’ll be the last time I’ll ever write about this godforsaken sport, which I have stopped following except for rare glimpses. But here we are, for one last dance.

I start this post with a story which is familiar to Indians. The setting is the Cricket World Cup in 2003, held in South Africa. An India which was pretty good, but heavily dependent on a midget wearing the no. 10 jersey made it to the final, only to get thrashed by a rampaging Australia. It was absolute heartburn for a country where this sport is akin to hard drugs and for the genius wearing no. 10, as the sport’s top prize eluded him.

Then, we move to 2007, the setting is the Caribbeans. The Cricket World Cup this time ends in an utter disaster for the Indians, beset with infighting in the team. The prize eluded that midget again.

In the meantime, in 2007 itself, a new kind of Cricket World Cup is held in South Africa, for a shorter format of the game. A very youthful India, led by new blood wins the entire thing, setting the stage for an overhaul of the team.

Then, we move to 2011. This time, the venue is India. The team is a mix of old and young, which finally carries the midget to that one prize he coveted the most.

Now, let’s contrast this with the journey of another no. 10 wearing midget from another country where another sport is akin to hard drugs.

2014, Brazil. Argentina has a functioning team, but is heavily dependent on that midget. They make it to the finals, but lose to Germany in heartbreaking fashion. The midget is left heartbroken, but this is just the beginning of utter misery, as the team goes on to lose two Copa America finals in the next two years. Its an utter mess, capped by the midget announcing retirement from International football and then coming back after the country clamoured for him to return.

2018, Russia. The road to reach the tournament itself has been painful. The coach loses control of the team and it goes out as a painful mess. Redemption feels farther than ever.

Then a new coach takes over, starts blooding in new players and the team wins the 2021 Copa America. Now, we feel a change, and the story ends in a thrilling climax in Qatar 2022, as the midget landed that one trophy he dreamed of since childhood, aided by a raft of young blood hungry for success.

The stories of Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar and Lionel Andres Messi Cuccittini in the pursuit of that one trophy of their dreams are eerily similar.

As such, I didn’t care much for this particular World Cup. The murky circumstances under which Qatar won this bid left me disgusted:

And let’s not forget how Qatar has pulled off massive human rights atrocities in the construction activities to pull off this World Cup:

But in the end, it isn’t Messi’s fault that FIFA and Qatar are utter pieces of shit. So, as much as I hate the circumstances of this World Cup, I’ll celebrate Leo winning the one trophy which means the most to him. He deserves this moment after all that has transpired in his career:

The GOAT Debate ended with one picture

Now, Messi nation, enjoy the feast in the GOAT debate with our guy, who’s won it all

Also, maybe Messi joining PSG was destined afterall (Neymar is a clown and betrayed his club, so he doesn’t count):



Aditya Gaonkar

IC Design Engineer. Retired FC Barcelona fan. Interested in physics, mathematics, philosophy, memes, epic fantasy. IIT Madras and Columbia University alum.