Since landing in the FC Barcelona youth academy at the age of thirteen, Lionel Messi has demonstrated an innate and awe-inspiring talent for football – in the process creating a sort of poetry in the game.

For so many fans around the globe, watching Messi play has brought great happiness – to nobody more than Catalan writer and pundit Jordi Punti.

In 22 short essays, Punti explores the beauty, the hunger, the genius and the obsession of Messi – he takes us from the near-mythical scenery of a South American footballing youth, where the world is “an infinite football pitch”, to the glory and the struggle of a life on the international stage.