Sir — Lionel Messi, the superstar of football, deserves praise for creating history by breaking the 40-year-old record of most goals scored in a calendar year by the German legend, Gerd Mueller (“Mueller hails the ‘incredible’ Messi”, Dec 11). Messi netted his 85th and 86th goals of 2012 during the 2-1 win over Real Betis. By breaking Mueller’s record, Messi has taken his seat in the pantheon of the greats. The 25-year-old player from Santa Fe is also set to add to his impressive haul of silverware as he is in line for a record fourth consecutive Ballon d’Or. What sets him apart is the beauty of his dribbling, his inventiveness, his commitment to team work and the extraordinary regularity with which he scores goals. Messi has also proven himself capable of rising to the occasion: he already has three Champions League medals and five La Liga crowns to his name.
He is Barcelona’s leading scorer with 283 goals in all competitions. He is quite matchless in terms of pure ability with a football. The legend is also a UNICEF goodwill ambassador. But it is because of his dazzling dribbling, his near-perfect passing and his artful finishing that he has earned his fame all over the world.
The sight of Messi in action on the field is a feast for the eyes. He roams the pitch with seemingly boyish abandon and few things hush a stadium as quickly as the sight of Messi embarking on one of his magical runs towards goal. Soccer lovers around the globe would like to wish him all the best for the future and hope that he will set many more records.
Dilbag Rai, Chandigarh
Sir — The increase in incidents showcasing the inept attitude and irresponsibility of taxi and auto drivers is indeed a matter of grave concern (“Public transport that is not meant for the people”, Dec 13). This is in spite of the fact that rules pertaining to vehicular traffic are reported to have been made more stringent in a bid to improve public transport services. Yet, it is the devil-may-care attitude of the drivers of public vehicles that makes commuting a tiresome activity in Calcutta.
I travel from the 8B bus stand in Jadavpore to Garia every evening to take tuition. Whenever an empty autorickshaw passes by, a mad scramble begins among the commuters to reach the three-wheeler first. Soon enough, there is much elbowing and the exchange of curses. But even after that, one is often told by the driver that he will only go half the distance. Auto drivers are supposed to ferry passengers through the full length of their allotted route and are not supposed to travel as per their whims and fancies. Taxi and auto drivers seem to make up their own routes and rules. A yellow taxi has the licence to travel to all parts of the city. But more often than not, when asked if he would travel to a certain place, a cabbie will grunt and say, “Hobe na dada, it’s not my area.” The flouting of rules and blatant disregard for penalties make it imperative for cops to solve traffic woes with an iron hand.
Shayak Majumder, Calcutta
Sir — The revelations by Mohinder Amarnath regarding the veto powers of the BCCI chief in the selection of the Indian cricket team is a serious cause for concern. Why then have a team of selectors who are paid astronomical sums of money? Either scrap the office of national selectors or ensure that the board would have nothing to do with selection.
Abhijit Guha,Toronto, Canada