One downside to being the greatest player to ever kick a soccer ball has to be that people eventually take your greatness for granted. It’s all well and good to be referred to as a god or an alien, but conjure so many miracles over a long enough timespan, and the effect of your otherworldliness starts to wane.
In response to this phenomenon, one such god-alien hybrid might intentionally mess up a play or two in egregious fashion. The hope would be that a couple of memorable, ultimately inconsequential boners might dilute the aura just a smidge, to be later restored with another miracle when it really mattered and to receive the deserved adulation.
This, I would posit, is the only rational explanation for why Lionel Messi completely blew a point-blank chance in today’s Barcelona-Sparta Prague match in the Champions League:
It’s possible Messi miskicked the ball because he was tired and is still working himself into shape after recently missing a few games due to injury. But nah, it was totally on purpose.