AC Milan’s Junior Messias’ improbable rise to Champions League reminds us why we love sports. From his humble beginnings as a 9-year old soccer ball boy, the young striker has won numerous accolades and titles across Europe with AC Milan over the past few years.
The “ac milan transfer targets 2021” is a fascinating story of how the Junior Messias has been able to make such an improbable rise in his career. It’s a reminder of why we love sports.
This is an implausible narrative, the kind that occurs just once in a while yet just frequently enough to feed our greatest dreams and give our lives a sprinkling of significance.
This is the tale of a young guy who, on the night of his brother’s wedding, drove home intoxicated in a dilapidated jalopy, flew off an unpaved road into the fields, and lay in the muck, waiting to die or be rescued.
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A story about a kid who dominated village tournaments in the countryside outside of Belo Horizonte, Brazil, and was paid in cases of beer on a good day, but when he took the big step into the big time — the Cruzeiro academy, where the original Ronaldo made his debut — he realized he wouldn’t make the cut. On the night of his 20th birthday, after three seasons of seeking a professional contract, all he had to show for it was a spot in the Brazilian football pyramid’s seventh division at a team named Ideal (which was anything but.)
Of a guy who understood, at the age of 20, that football is fantastic and enjoyable, and dreams are as well, but that reality bites and bills must be paid when you have a young wife and kid. As a result, he joined his brother in Italy, where his first job was cleaning bricks found at demolition sites for 20 cents each, and his second was transporting kitchen equipment (toasters on a good day, refrigerators on a bad one.)
Working on construction sites, getting your hands filthy, being out in the open air, and doing so to support your family is the pinnacle of fulfillment, rather than playing football, which had become “a diversion, not a goal,” as he puts it. He couldn’t say no, however, when a group of other immigrants, this time from Peru, encouraged him to join their club, Sport Warique, in Turin’s adult leisure leagues.
Of an illegal economic migrant who, like the majority, expected his narrative to conclude one of two ways: with a bureaucrat locating his application among the backlog of cases, forwarding it to a court, and receiving permission to remain, or with law enforcement officers knocking on his door. He joined for Casale, a team in the fifth division of Italy’s football pyramid, the day after he acquired his resident permit. He was ecstatic, but it had to make financial sense for him and his family, which is why he rejected down the club’s initial offer and insisted on a monthly salary of €1,500, which was somewhat more than what he was earning as a delivery driver.
Junior Messias’ late header kept AC Milan’s chances of reaching the Champions League knockout round alive. Getty Images/Irina R.Hipolito/Europa Press
If those papers hadn’t arrived, an Evangelical Christian was ready to give up football — or, more precisely, his version of football at the time, local Turinese rec league stuff, where he played with Peruvian waiters and factory workers — and devote his weekends and free time to preaching the Word of God. It’s because he asked God for a sign, which he says came in the form of that visa, that he shared a pitch with Luis Suarez and Zlatan Ibrahimovic on your TV on Wednesday night rather than knocking on doors and studying the Bible.
A born-again footballer who, at the age of 24, re-entered the system after a four-year absence and progressed through the Italian leagues year after year, from the fifth tier (Casale) to the fourth (Chieri) to the third (Gozzano) to the second and first (Crotone) to the Champions League (AC Milan, whom he joined in the summer). And three minutes from time on Wednesday night, his headed goal defeated Jan Oblak and Atletico Madrid, delivering Milan a 1-0 away victory that kept their knockout chances alive. It’s just the fourth occasion he’s scored with his head out of the 62 goals he’s scored since returning to football.
Of a relegated team’s offensive midfielder who joined Milan on loan in August in the last hours of the transfer window, partly because they needed a person off the bench and having failed to secure their primary targets in that position. Before coming off the bench with 25 minutes to go on Wednesday, he had only played twice for a total of 51 minutes.
This is Junior Walter Messias’ incredible tale, and I wouldn’t blame you if you believe it’s made up. Even his name has a biblical ring to it. However, Messias himself just repeated the tale. You may have seen him rise to meet Franck Kessie’s cross and score the game-winning goal for Milan.
This is football, after all. This is a sporting event. This is where the unbelievable dwells and, every now and again, emerges to make us fall in love all over again.
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The “milan newspaper” is a publication that has been around for over 150 years. It was the first paper to be published in Milan, Italy and is still running today. The paper’s website provides coverage of all things Milan, including news on the club’s players and matches.
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