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The Hoddle of Coffee: Tottenham Hotspur news and links for Monday, April 15

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Lionel Messi is no fashionista.

Tottenham Hotspur v Huddersfield Town - Premier League Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Hello, all!

Let’s chat about the one of the world’s most famous footballer today.

Ramble of the Day

Lionel Messi is unquestionably good at football. He’s so good that he’s won awards for being good at football, and so good that his fans have on occasion decided to make the argument that he’s better than Pelé. He’s endeared himself to his global audience to the point where he has an association with earnestness; there are a series of YouTube videos with the title “Messi never dives” to support that part of his image. He seems to get a lot right, and good for him. One thing Messi will probably never be known for, though? His fashion sense.

Messi has no grand desire to be a fashionista, but he obviously does not need this. Instead, he follows a pretty simple formula for the outfits he chooses himself: plain or graphic t-shirt + bottoms with a little bit of unconventionality. In the above picture with his family, it’s on full display. The graphic tee is inoffensive from a quick glance, though I do have doubts about the quality of the actual sketch on the shirt. The pants, meanwhile, aren’t particularly stylish or nice, but whatever. He’s not the first person to wear jeans with holes at the knee and won’t be the last.

The thing about Messi is that he plays with the parts of his standard formula quite a bit, I imagine partly because it’s boring to keep a standard formula as standard as possible. It means that we end up seeing some pretty bad shirts and pants.

Occasionally, other people join him in the bad t-shirt contest.

Pretty sure every pair of jeans Messi owns is ripped somewhere.

Poorly done tie-dye/distressed style t-shirt combined with partly faded torn jorts? That’s a personal best — worst. This also supports my theory that Messi only owns ripped jeans — even in short form.

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I can’t tell if these have a tear, but I really cannot support anyone who is willing to be photographed multiple times in jean shorts. Everyone should be stylish enough to know not to wear those, I’m sorry.

Messi’s fashion mistakes are really of the same variety — he just likes the distressed look. It’s ultimately a matter of taste, but the strange thing is that an adoration for the distressed clothes in life doesn’t really add to Messi’s personality. Sure, the clothes suck, but has your opinion of Messi changed? This isn’t about his quality as a footballer — his clothing choice has no way of impacting that (I think), but one’s opinion on Messi as a person probably isn’t altered by this. It probably does add to the opinion that one already has, though.

Allow me to insert my opinion (like I haven’t been already): Messi’s sense of style reflects the bad taste he’s shown with that leg tattoo, but also a boringness. His fashion choices aren’t reflective of a particular personality, the way Érik Lamela’s choices or Sergio Ramos’s choices are. In fact, all of those pairs of jorts make it seem like Messi has no good style instincts whatsoever and though I doubt he doesn’t try to look good by his own definition, there’s no effort to be that.

In part, one has to respect Messi’s disinterest in conforming. Why start now after differentiating yourself by your greatness? That said, it all just feels like a very plain off-the-pitch #brand Messi has, which is fine. He’s obviously not suffering for it.

tl;dr: I spent more time hating jean shorts than I thought.

Links of the Day

The Ligue 1 match between Dijon and Amiens was briefly halted after Amiens defender Prince Gouano was racially abused by members of the crowd.

West Ham fans were caught on video chanting antisemitic messages during the team’s game against Manchester United.

Police are investigating an incident that allegedly saw Fleetwood Town manager Joey Barton punch Barnsley manager Daniel Stendel after the match.

Fiorentina fans boycotted the first half of the team’s match against Bologna in protest over the owners’ lack of investment.

Bayern’s Kingsley Coman and Robert Lewandowski got into a fight at training last week, but won’t be punished.

Today’s longer read: Owen Amos on former Ireland player Eamonn O’Keefe’s stint in Saudi Arabia and being trapped by a Saudi prince’s secret for the BBC