December 2019 Holiday Premium Auction
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Widely regarded as the greatest active soccer player on the planet and arguably of all-time, 32-year old Lionel Messi is that rare once-in-a-lifetime talent who has achieved international super-stardom all while maintaining—unlike others in his class such as Ronaldo and Maradona—his loyalty to club and country, his inspirational leadership, and his humility and jovial good nature. Coaches and retired players around the globe agree that his talent is unlike any other, and they warn fans to pay close attention now, for like Michael Jordan we will sorely miss him when he's gone. Holder of far too many records and trophies to list here, it's exciting to imagine what else he might accomplish before reaching Ronaldo's age (34) and just how long he might be able to continue adding to the record books.

One of the defining characteristics of Messi's style of play is that, like a well-programmed machine, he conserves energy for when he needs it most. He stalks the pitch, often at a leisurely walking pace, studying the competition, the gaps, the angles, the possibilities, and he conserves his energy for great bursts of activity that often result in assists and goals. While he certainly hasn't invented anything new, per say, his creative style of play has been likened to that of actual art, and his reliance on efficiency and real time analysis will be studied by players until the end of time. Hopefully, for our sakes as fans, Messi will be able to extend his efficient style of play to his larger career and give us several more years of artistry and awe.

When the experienced graders at PSA know that they're dealing with a potentially $20,000 to $25,000 card, they tend to be a little conservative in their assessment, and such is plainly the case with the offered example of Messi's most iconic rookie card, the 2004 Panini Mega Cracks #71. So high-end is the offered card PSA 9 that upon writing this description we decided to send in back to PSA for one last review. Hopefully, with a little luck we'll make our consignor extremely happy and will be forced to edit this lot with the positive results. If not, rest assured that the offered card looks as good if not better than any of the 10s for which we can find records online. Bottom line, despite rigorous inspection we are simply unable to identity a single feature that remotely explains the Mint 9 instead of Gem Mint 10 grade.
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