Why I Stan: Lionel Messi

In this week’s edition of Why I Stan, we speak to content creator Wouva about their love of footballer Lionel Messi. Wouva has a YouTube channel dedicated to the Argentine footballing great with over 400k subscribers.

Lionel Messi has been wowing football crowds for nearly two decades now. When do you first remember seeing Messi play?

I remember his debut against Porto, but that’s about it. After that I just kept on watching Barça games but without really paying attention towards Leo. The game that totally convinced me that Leo would be my idol, was the away game against Chelsea in his flashy yellow jersey. From that moment, I started to follow Messi really closely and watched almost every game possible of him!

Lots of football fans collect shirts, programmes or other memorabilia. In what ways do you express your Messi fandom?

I’ve been to Barcelona about 8-9 times, and in the beginning, every time we visited the Camp Nou I had to buy a jersey of him. So now I have 6 Barcelona official jerseys with Messi on the back. Also, I decided to start a YouTube channel many years ago dedicated to Messi. I love to watch him and give my own touch to tell a story about him. The channel is still active (not as in the beginning), but now has more than 400k subscribers. I never thought it would hit that number.

Do you support a football team or does all your support go into this one player?

I support Barcelona. Because before Messi, I watched Barcelona already a bit, but not week in week out. I still follow Leo of course, but I will always have a love for Barça.

The Messi v Ronaldo debate has raged on for many years now. What is your view of the debate and the way it plays out online?

For me, personally, there is no debate. The media tried to create one for so many years, but there has never been one for me. Messi does things nobody else can do. Of course, CR7 is phenomenal and is better than any other player of this generation, except with Messi. You have the other players, then Cristiano, but miles above everybody else, you have Messi. We’ll never see a football player who is as gifted as he is. I can’t understand people who don’t agree with me…

Messi put the crowning achievement on his career by winning the 2022 FIFA World Cup with Argentina. What were your emotions during that dramatic final?

I had emotions that are difficult to express. Argentina were so dominant in the final that, despite the fact the Netherlands also scored two times in the dying seconds, I really had the feeling Argentina won’t give this away. But in 2 minutes, everything changed. I had ultimate stress, because it was the first time during the game I thought about the fact Messi might not win it…

Then Messi scored, which I couldn’t believe because I thought it was offside. It didn’t sink in and before I knew, it was 3-3 again. As soon as Martinez saved the first penalty, I had a really good feeling and when they won it, I had to sit down and stare like 10 minutes to realise Messi had done it… Even after some small tears of happiness, it still had to sink in completely… One of the best moments of my life!

Is there a particular moment or game featuring a Messi that you’ll always look back on fondly?

This question is too hard, as I watched almost every game of him. He had so, so, so many games in which he was extraordinary. I can directly think about +25 games at least that are so crazy… All the El Classico games, games against Arsenal, Champions League semis and finals, Copa del Rey finals, Leverkusen, against Atletico, with Argentina against Iran, or Bosnia, or the USA… the games will keep coming.

Messi’s career will come to a close in the next few years. What will happen to your fandom when he retires?

Difficult question, as I don’t want to think about that. We need to enjoy Messi as long as we can!

Follow Wouva on Twitter – @Wouva10

Follow Wouva on Instagram – @Wouva10)

Check out Wouva’s YouTube channel – @Wouva

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