With Messi recently handpicking ten players to wear his signature silo from adidas, it looks like the three stripes will be keeping us up to date with the exploits and adventures of those lucky enough to be “Backed by Messi.”
The first incarnation of this brand new series has all ten of the “Backed By” players showcasing their moves with their Messi 15.1 boots. We also get to hear about what all of these players have in mind for their goals as their club seasons move forward. Will the players be able to emerge as the future for their clubs and for their country? Or, will being handpicked by the greatest player on the planet only heighten the pressure on some of these players?
The two MLS recruits would have the most pressure on them currently as the season heads into the playoffs, but Khiry Shelton at NYCFC will end up watching the main event from his couch as his club did not qualify. For Gyasi Zardes, the stress and intensity will definitely ratchet up as the Messi-backed attacker plays for the heavy favorite LA Galaxy. Will Zardes be the first of these young players to win a league championship as a key player? The first from the Messi-backed-brood?
With Shelton’s season over, who else from the nine remaining players will emerge as truly worthy to be a part of this campaign? For those of you that haven’t been following the “Backed by Messi” idea, the other players are: Robert Kenedy (Chelsea), Maxwell Cornet (Lyon), Jeremie Boga (Rennes, a loanee from Chelsea), Accursio Bentivegna (Como, a loanee from Palermo), James Wilson (Manchester United), Timo Werner (VFB Stuttgart), Aleksey Miranchuk (Lokomotiv Moscow), and Marcos Lopes (AS Monaco).
Can any of these players fill such massive boots? Or will they forever stand in the shadow of the man whose name is emblazoned on their boots?