The Loop

Lionel Messi's son reacting to dad's sixth Ballon d'Or is a beacon of light in this dark place

December 02, 2019
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In case you haven't heard, this Lionel Messi guy is pretty damn good. And by pretty damn good, we mean quite possibly the single most dominant athlete ever in their respective sport full stop. Messi has won 10 La Liga titles, four Champions League trophies, has scored 681 goals in 839 appearances, and as of Monday afternoon, claimed his sixth Ballon d'Or—AKA European soccer's annual MVP award—breaking a deadlock with Cristiano Ronaldo with the most of all time. But amidst the glitz and glam of soccer's biggest awards show, it wasn't the newly minted Messi that shone the brightest, but instead his son Matteo, whose reaction to his father's record-breaking achievement proved to be the moment of the night/only reason for trudging on in this grim, dark existence.

Why is Matteo laughing like a little pint-sized mob boss? Did he just watch The Irishman?Honestly we have no idea, but we love it. Stack this up against the internet's best dog videos, most potent cat clips, and maybe a viral backbreaker or two, and we're willing to bet it more than holds it own (and maybe, just maybe, makes you feel just a little bit better about your fellow humans in the process.)

Perhaps Matteo shouldn't have been quite as surprised or tickled about his dad's accomplishment, however. Despite it being a record-breaking Ballon d'Or, Messi's next closest competitor for the award was Virgil van Dijk, a defender. As fans and followers of the Heisman can certainly attest, if you ain't playing offense, you have no chance, and the same goes for the Ballon d'Or, which was last won by a defender, Fabio Cannavaro, in 2006. In other words, Messi was practically shoe-in. But hey, we will cling to any shred of optimism we can get these days, so go on Matteo. Cheer away. Here's hoping we get to see your reaction to pops winning a World Cup one of these days.