To me, the definition of an outlier goes far beyond just someone that stands out in a crowd or has an extraordinary talent. An outlier is something that is situated away from or classed differently from a main or related body. In the novel Outliers, which was written by Malcolm Gladwell, he gives us many examples of outliers such as a genius who wasn’t as smart as everyone thought he was to a computer geek who had all the resources to make it big like Bill Gates.
My example of an outlier is Lionel Messi. The characteristics that make Lionel Messi an outlier are his birthday, the environment he grew up in and his talent. All these characteristics not only make him an outlier but also a very successful athlete. To start off, Lionel Messi was born in the soccer centered city of Rosario, Argentina. As a young kid, Messi was known as a prospect in his city everyone knew that the talent that he had with his feet was very particular and not many in his town come close to him. He always played soccer in the streets of his neighborhood and him having a growth deficiency never held him back.
As a young kid, Messi played for many teams but his main team was called Newells Old Boys where he carried the team to many tittles till he was 13. At 13, he was identified with a big problem, he would not grow and had to have a very costly treatment to help him grow. Even though the kid had a clear future, the team that he had always played for closed the door on him and did not want to pay for his treatment. Meanwhile, while all this is happening Spain super giants, Barcelona, heard of a 13 year old down in Argentina that simply rules his treats and has a tremendous talent and brought him over.
After seeing him touch the ball twice, they realized that the future was right under their nose. Barcelona paid for his treatment and saved his career and today he has been identified as the “Balloon D’or” award winner (which means that he is the best player in the world) for three years straight and has also carried the team to many years of supremacy and also the overall tittle of best team in the world. In the novel Outliers, the introduction chapter is named The Matthew Affect which tells us that being born at the right time has a big effect on how successful someone will really be. Messi was born on June 24, 1987 to a father who worked in a steel factory and a mother who was a cleaner.
As a young kid he grew up watching his older brother who was also a soccer player. The Mathew Affect applies to Messi because he grew up in a time where Argentina was a powerhouse in soccer which brought a lot of profit to the soccer organization which helped develop many youth systems and professional club teams. Messi grew up watching what can arguably be classified as one of the best players in the history of soccer named Diego Maradona. Messi along with other kids would flood the streets after watching their idols play on to and be inspired to play soccer. Messi would always have competition to play against all day and everyday even on holidays.
With soccer being a popular sport in the city of Rosario many fields were made for the kids to play in. If Messi would have been born any other time period he would have witnessed Argentina’s downfall and never would have seen what is today his inspiration, Diego Maradona and who knows if he would still have that desire and drive to play soccer. Another factor that makes Lionel Messi an outlier is the amount of support he got. Growing up, not only did he watch his brother play football, but he also had a grandma ho would always take him to play soccer when his parents were at work. His grandma was the first person to take him to a professional team to try out. She would sit and watch every game and always encouraged him to play and never give up. When she passed away, Messi was really hurt but appreciative and every time he scores he dedicates his goal to his grandma.
When Messi was diagnosed with his growth disorder the only team that would pay for this treatment was Barcelona which meant that he had to move to Spain. His father had to quit his job and leave his life in Argentina to support his son in his decision. If this treatment had not been done then Messi’s career would have been over. Many people don’t have this support because their grandma is not always involved or the parents are too busy working and trying to make ends meet to support their children. Also many people don’t have the support of a professional sports team to pay for a costly treatment to save their careers.
All these factors of support make him and outlier and without this support who knows if Messi would have made it out of the streets of Argentina. Last but not least, Lionel Messi’s extraordinary talent makes him an outlier. Not only is he good at what he does but he also has the incredible advantage of being a natural born athlete and having raw talent. Many people would say that there’s no such thing as being born with talent but Messi is clearly a level above his competition.
Being a 13 year old and be given a professional contract (which was written on a napkin in a restaurant!) is not something that happens every day not that but he also made his first team debut at the age of 16 and also scoring on his first match making him the youngest player in the leagues history to do that. In 2006, Messi was part of the historic Barcelona team that won everything there was to win and him being the team’s leading scorer/player. In the year 2012, he broke the all-time record of goals scored in a year. His final total of goals was a shocking 91beating the previous record of 85 which was set by a German player named Gerd Muller.
“My record stood for 40 years – 85 goals in a year – and now the best player in the world has broken it, and I’m delighted for him. He is an incredible player, gigantic.” That was a quote said by the great player Gerd Muller. Lionel Messi has won the Ballon D’or four years in a row which is the highest individual award any player can win which makes him the best player in the world for four years in a row. The amount of talent Lionel Messi has clearly makes him an outlier sense there is close to none that have the amount of talent he has. To conclude, Lionel Messi to me is an outlier, he has overcome many adversities and earned high levels of success. The year in which he was born in, the support he had, and the amount of raw talent he has are all clear evidence of a true outlier.
Lionel Messi bio
http://www.lionelmessi.azplayers.com/lionel-messi-biography.html Brief biography of Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi video’
Video of his life as well as a summary right under.
Lionel Messi story
http://bleacherreport.com/articles/237096-the-lionel-messi-story-how-did-he-get-to-the-top-of-the-world Story of how he defeated adversity and made it to the top
Lionel messi story video
Video of his story part 1
Lionel Messi story video
Video of his story part 2
Corps, Lance. “This Is Unbelievable! Goal Machine Messi Stunned as He Bags Fourth Ballon D’Or Award after Record-breaking Year.” Mail Online. N.p., June-July 2011. Web. 13 Oct. 2013. Martinez, Jack J. “Lionel Messi Biography.” Biography Online. Messi Bio, Apr.-May 2013. Web. 13 Oct. 2013.