Thursday, April 21, 2011

Rousseff, Messi make Time's "influential" list

One of the world’s best soccer players and one of Latin America’s most influential leaders have been named to Time magazine’s list of the world’s most influential people.

Argentine futbol star Lionel Messi and Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff were two of the 100 figures selected to the U.S. newsmagazine’s list. Former Chilean President Michelle Bachelet described the numerous challenges Rousseff including being a female head of state and leading an “emerging nation” that is Brazil. Yet Bachelet praised Rousseff as a “courageous fighter” who “offers precisely that virtuous combination of wisdom and conviction that her country needs.”

Rousseff thus emulates her predecessor, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who appeared on the Time list in 2004 and 2010.

Even though Lula hand-picked his former Chief of Staff to follow him, Rousseff has somewhat distinguished herself from him. Compared to Lula she has taken on a less charismatic and more administrative tone during her almost four months in the presidency. Rousseff has also differed from Lula in the foreign policy arena in that she is more willing to tackle global human rights violations.

Lionel Messi may’ve ended up on the short end of Barcelona’s Copa del Rey finals loss on Wednesday to bitter rivals Real Madrid. Yet ex-French international and former Barca teammate Thierry Henry couldn’t help but compare Messi to an Argentine soccer legend:
It's not normal, what he does. I know the expectation that builds up around top players, but it doesn't bother Messi. He's a competitor: he doesn't want to lose, not even in training. He reminds me of Diego Maradona, the way he dribbles past people, the way you can kick him and he'll just bounce up and carry on running with the ball, then score a goal — it's ridiculous.
Egyptian internet activist Wael Ghonim, Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg and German Chancellor Angela Merkel were in the top ten of the list that was voted on by Time readers.

Image- Eraldo Peres/Associated Press via CBC News (“Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff, right, shown with artist Isabel Mendes da Cunha signed a law Tuesday in Sao Paulo granting grandparents visitation with grandchildren in cases of divorce.”)
Online Sources- Time, AS/COA Online, Al Jazeera English, AFP

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