If there is an annoying Clark Kent trait to Messi, and you have to look very hard to find one, it could be that he seems so ... nice, a limp word deliberately chosen here because it is so bland.
Messi doesn't have that angry, sometimes nasty streak that drove Armstrong to crush all comers on France's roads. He doesn't appear to suffer the frailties that led that other Argentine soccer genius, Diego Maradona, to dice with cocaine and death.
With 234 goals and tens of millions of dollars to his name, Messi still appears humble and simple, as though he is the lucky and privileged one to be playing for Barcelona, and not the other way round.
Frankly, it's almost unsettling to be faced with someone about whom nothing bad can be said.
A bird? A plane?
No, it's Messi.
John Leicester is an international sports columnist for The Associated Press. Write to him at jleicester(at)ap.org or follow him at http://twitter.com/johnleicester
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