Casillas, on the mend and Messi, sublime

We’ve all too often heard the throwaway expression that "football has no memory" but sometimes things happen that merely demonstrate that isn’t always the case. Yesterday, we saw one such example – the reaction to the news that Iker Casillas had been hospitalized after suffering a heart attack. It caused a massive deluge of messages expressing concern and well wishes. Real Madrid, the club he left under a cloud, immediately issued a statement to wish him a speedy recovery. As did José Mourinho. That’s nice to see. I’m sure that all of the messages are heartfelt and anyone who doubts that should be aware that hypocrisy is the compliment vice pays to virtue, as the republican maestros taught before the civil war.

Casillas treated and in good care

The general feeling of worry subsided a few hours later when it emerged that Iker was well over the worst. His message and accompanying photo of himself smiling in his hospital bed came as a relief, although his ordeal has given us all food for thought: if a 37-year-old man, who leads a healthy lifestyle and enjoys regular medical check-ups from specialists can suffer a heart attack, how much at risk are the rest of us? Doctor González explained that in this case, there are still areas in which puzzle Science and that there are medical conditions which are only detected when it’s too late. Fortunately, it was spotted in time for Iker. He was taken straight to hospital and treated quickly, thankfully as in these cases, every minute counts.

Messi showed he wants this Champions League

And while on the subject of football’s memory, few of us will forget Messi’s exhibition against Liverpool last night. We’ve seen work wonders thousands of times and step up in dozens of big games, but last night’s eclipsed everything we’ve seen before. He was the focal point for the team, receiving and distributing, lashing back whenever he was fouled, opening up play with long passes, darting one way then jinking the other – a ceaseless force of energy and football who popped up in the six-yard box to slot in a rebound off the bar then removed the cobwebs from the top corner of the goalpost with a strike that was as precise as it was perfect. All against a tremendous Liverpool side who had Camp Nou worried, and found themselves beaten 3-0 without knowing how or why. Or maybe they do – because of Messi, football’s pontiff, who earnestly did what he needed to do on his favourite stage.