Lionel Messi Wine: An Argentinian wine range that’s helping Messi to win over his home nation
Lionel Messi has an increasingly good claim to being the greatest footballer of all time. His accomplishments with Barcelona are unparallelled where he continues to break every scoring record in European football. But at international level it’s different story. Despite turning out consistently for the Argentinian national team since 2005, his relationship with the Argentinian people has been uneasy. Messi famously left Argentina as a 13 year old to join Barcelona’s academy, took dual Spanish/Argentinian citizenship and combined with the perception that he is yet to fulfill his potential at international level, some Argentinian fans disparagingly refer to him as ‘the catalan’ and tend to favour other national team players as their preferred talisman. It’s been a somewhat fumbling relationship on both sides – the story goes that the player’s first call up to an Argentinian national squad came via a letter addressed to to ‘Lionel Mecci’.
All four wines are said to have been inspired by the “creative essence” of Messi. Presumably this doesn’t refer to the fact that you’ll think you can beat the Real Madrid defence single-handedly after drinking a bottle.
But over the last few years the world’s greatest number 10 has reached out to his compatriots. He began a charitable foundation (Foundation Leo Messi) which funds projects to aid healthcare and sports facilities for children in disadvantaged areas of Argentina. Messi has also patched things up with his boyhood club Newell’s Old Boys (who always maintained Barcelona robbed them of the boy-genius Messi) by funding a new gym and the construction of a dormitory inside the stadium to house youth players.
Now the self-styled national hero has decided to get involved with another Argentinian national passion – wine. A range called “LEO” has been produced by a winery near Messi’s home town of Rosario in the Santa Fe province of Argentina. The wines are all made from classically Argentinian grapes: Malbec for the two reds and Torrontes for the white and sparkling wine. The white and one of the reds are young wines and feature a label shaped like a football shirt. A premium oak aged malbec and a sparkling white have a ball shaped label. All four wines are said to have been inspired by the “creative essence” of Messi. Presumably this doesn’t refer to the fact that you’ll think you can beat the Real Madrid defence single-handedly after drinking a bottle. A proportion of the profits will laudably go to the Messi’s charitable foundation.
Partly in thanks to his association to a drop of decent Malbec, Leo’s proclamation of stronger ties to his home nation seem to be working. Messi banners are now regularly waived at Newell’s Old Boys home games and most importantly of all Messi has the captaincy of the national team.
Not that he needs any more awards, but Messi can now also try and get the bragging rights for best FC Barcelona wine producer from Andres Iniesta, who has his very own winery.
Here’s a promo video produced by the makers of the Lionel Messi wine.