Sushobhan Mukherjee


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Messi is not alone

Last week, Lionel Messi declared his retirement, post the defeat of Argentina in the centenary Copa America final against Chile.

But why? He is only 29 years old and have at least 7-10 years to try his level best to win a trophy for the country. He won FIFA best player award for five times, he was awarded golden ball last word cup, and he own several significant trophies for his club Barcelona. But it is also true he had lost four consecutive major finals and failed to earn a big trophy under his bucket for the country. He is undoubtedly one of the greatest player of this world since football was incepted. However, he was always under the comparison with Christiano Ronaldo of recent times and Pele, Maradona from older decades. Compared to Pele, Maradona, playing football has become more complicated now as players are being analyzed in computers and counter actions are tactically pre-defined where the puppets have to deliver the same like robots in the ground. There are press, news agencies, internet, social media are trying to de-mystify and share judgments of a footballer (who is unfortunately a human being as well).

Overall eco system builds the enormous pressure and sets high expectations on a performer which not only impacts his/her performance, but also disturbs the mental stability.  It was clearly visible in the final that even his strong points (like free kick etc) were not going well as he had reflected his skills on those segments in the group league matches. And finally he broke to the enormous pressure and missed the first shot in penalty shootout. This was the time entire think tank, co-players to work together to release pressure on him. But it happened reverse. The team, who played so well in the group league without him (as in initial matches he was not playing full due to injury), started depending on him as if he himself can create magic alone. And the final result is evident to everyone now.

The situations are eminent in every corner of the society. The kids are pressed to perform best in every domain like studies, games, creatives, physical activities. Working people are pressed to earn more money to uplift lifestyle. The performer is pressed to take entire workload and even overcome shortfall of others. These in effect generates anxiety, stress, fear, anger, impatience and off-course health hazards. In effect performance impacts and people breaks down.

Low score in exam enforced kids to take the extreme step of suicide. People behavior patterns got changed. People losing jobs every now and then. Moreover not getting matching job (rather matching six digit salary) to sustain in lifestyle. But the eco system, society, other people will not let you leave peacefully. Comparisons, Criticism, expectations will build enormous pressure on human mind and people are bound to lose their control. The same is visible for poor common man, nation, and celebrity, rather everyone. The situations will direct us towards something which will not only dis balance life, but can spoil the normal free flowing delight of it.

My dear friends, Messi is not alone, we are all party to this cumulative social disaster.

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