Very few figures in Argentine history have become international heroes of the caliber of Lionel Messi. The footballer has become an icon not only for his skill on the pitch and his jaw-dropping rack of trophies, awards and prizes, but also for his story of resilience and self-improvement. That’s exactly what Messi10, the latest show by Cirque du Soleil, aims to represent.
“The story of a young man with the tireless ambition to overcome any obstacle and become the best in the world,” as the creators describe it, the show focuses less on Messi’s career achievements — which include four Champions Leagues, seven Ballon d’Ors and, of course, the World Cup — and more on his personal ones.
During the 90-minute show, impressive acts are dedicated to Messi’s qualities. From a corde lisse aerial rope act interpreting his exhausting work to become an “overnight success”, an acrobatics act inspired by his vision on the pitch and a group floor routine on his determination not to give up on his goals, all are marvelously represented by the Cirque du Soleil’s 32 elite acrobats and artists from 15 countries.
However, the show is also kind enough to remind us that these qualities are not exclusive to Messi, that he has often led by example, and that we can choose to learn from his successes and failures.
The most emotional act in the show reminds us of the role fans played in Messi’s crowning achievement, and how even he draws inspiration from others, having the crowd join in a stirring rendition of Argentina’s unofficial World Cup anthem “Muchachos.”
Admittedly, the show’s not overtly football-centric, so you won’t find many immaculate chilenas or crazy dribbling skills, but it is well-paced, and even the moments of comic relief will leave you wondering how the human body is capable of certain things.
In the end, it’s an impressive experience that will leave you thinking about what makes football’s most decorated player who he is, and for those who’ve never seen a high-end circus production before, it will leave them coming back for more.
The show is hosted at the Complejo al Río, in Vicente López, Buenos Aires Province. For now, tickets are available until November 18. They’re selling quickly, so if you’re looking to buy, you’d better stay on the ball!