- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 10, 2014

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid used some downtime Thursday to size up the World Cup final and extol an Argentine superstar who is “built close to the ground.”

Mr. Reid said Germany may be favored, but they’ve got to watch out for Lionel Messi — the 5-foot-7 Argentine goalscorer who’s been compared to the best in the world.

“I have been told and read that this Messi is probably as good as Pele,” the Nevada Democrat told reporters while waiting on fellow Democrats to arrive at a press conference. “He’s amazing when there’s a lot of traffic … he’s built close to the ground and he’s just extremely good.”

The top Democrat then explored the ups and down of penalty kicks, the form of tie-breaker that Argentina and the Netherlands needed to break their deadlock in Wednesday’s semifinal.

“I love those shootouts. And they’re great, unless it doesn’t work out well,” he said.

He said he speaks from experience, after he watched his youngest son — a gifted soccer player who played at the University of Virginia — have one of his tries blocked in a regional final.

“I know how these people feel with these penalty kicks,” Mr. Reid said. “It’s crushing to not be able to do one of those, but it’s so exciting to watch them. And I’ve still never forgotten my son and that penalty kick.”

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