Why parenting young sportspeople is about far much more than touchline composure

Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi 
Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi have sons who are of a similar age Credit: AP

There is a renowned photograph of Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez that resurfaces across social media feeds every now and then. It depicts two of the planet’s best footballers casually overlooking a pitch as a number of small children, all of them wearing Barcelona kits, play in the foreground.

Messi and Suarez are apparently watching their respective sons, Thiago and Benja, while a tracksuited coach leads the way. Fellow coaches often post the image with a philosophical caption, pondering why all parents cannot replicate the detached, relaxed touchline manner of these two megastars.

If only there were someone capable of coaching testier parents towards similar habits, they might wonder. Well, Richard...

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