After a thrilling two weeks, we've learned that a bunch of early-tournament narratives have turned out to be false as we head into the knockout stage.
Messi's Champions League curse is certainly lifted.
Messi destroyed the record books in 2011-12, but this year he's doing more with less.
One man's lips ascended through the clouds to graze the foot of the Soccer Gods' chosen one.
The mayor of Miami welcomed "Rolando" to his fair city—and that's just the jumping off point.
It appears to be a kind of good faith fine, given that Messi's 21 month prison sentence was expected to be thrown out anyway.
Messi would have missed three other qualifiers, and would have only returned for their final qualifier against Ecuador in October.
The world is about to wave goodbye to over a tonne of gak worth around £73m, the marketing of which would have been lost on unappreciative nostrils anyway.
When Kylian Mbappe faces Manchester City on Wednesday evening, he will bear the burden of comparison to a true great. This is inherently unfair on a young player, and also based on a deeply flawed rationale.
Messi has a way of making difficult goals look smooth as milk.
Ronaldinho was a footballer unlike any other, and a showman par excellence. For his infectious exuberance, warmth and flair, we induct him into The Cult.
Lionel Messi will surely be canonized soon for this saintly act.