Lionel MESSI spoke with TyC about several topics, from the 2014 and 2018 FIFA World Cup’s to retiring to Real Madrid to much, much more.
It’s not often that Lionel MESSI is outspoken, which is why when he gives an interview, more often than not, it’s an interesting one. The Argentina captain hung out with TyC and here’s what he had to say:
“Barcelona and Argentina are my two big loves. I don’t like to watch myself, not even old matches or old plays, but I feel it and I know that I’ve grown in a lot of aspects and that I’m incorporating new things.”
Lionel MESSI on the 2018 FIFA World Cup:
“Having a good World Cup is finishing in the top four, to be among the best four. At the very least, Argentina deserves to be there because of its history. Although it took a lot to get there, we have to get to it again.
“God decides what will happen, we will try to give our best and will try everything to get there as well as possible and try and win it. We all have to be well if we want to have a chance at the World Cup and it becomes more difficult every time. Here, any team can sit back and could beat you 1-0 on the counter.”
Lionel MESSI on the the final of the 2014 FIFA World Cup:
“I would change the way I finished. Watching the video, I see I didn’t hit it properly. I would have shot it like that but with more of an instep. I would like to go back and to have another chance at it.”
Lionel MESSI on Nicolas OTAMENDI:
“He’s one of the players that has grown the most in the past few years. With GUARDIOLA, he’s reached his maximum level and today is one of the best in the world. Having him with us is spectacular.”
Lionel MESSI on the Argentina National Team:
“I wish we were like Germany. They have another way to prepare, of letting people work, and of judging them and seeing what they do. In any part of the world, a National Team that reaches 3 finals is one that is valued. Here, we are considered “cold chested” (chokers/don’t feel the shirt) for not having won. I understand that society in Argentina is complicated and if we lose, those same people will ask for us not to be there anymore. When one enjoys playing, everything comes more natural.
“We want to win more than anyone after going to three finals and not winning any of them. It’s a weight that we carry ourselves and want to overcome. It’s a desire of all of us who have been in the National Team for this past decade. We don’t have an obligation to anyone.
“After saying that [retiring after the 2016 Copa America], I thought it wasn’t the right thing to do. It would be giving the wrong message to all the young people and all the people who fight for their dreams. Keep trying and keep fighting for what you want.”
Lionel MESSI on Argentina coach Jorge SAMPAOLI:
“Everything he does is done with intensity and he puts everything into his training sessions. Every day into his talks and the matches. He’s always at his maximum.”
Lionel MESSI on Brazil:
“Collectively, they are very good and arrive in great shape. They have very good players individually and as a team they are great. They close down well in the back, they HAve strong players and when they counter against you, they’re very fast with players like NEYMAR and COUTINHO. They know what they’re doing and they have a mechanism in their movements as a group.”
Lionel MESSI on Spain, Germany and France:
“Spain, for the players that they have and the way they play, are more attractive than Brazil. Germany’s always there and France have very good players, though many of them are young.”
Lionel MESSI on life after football:
“After finishing (retiring), I don’t know what I’ll do or what I’ll dedicate myself to.”
Lionel MESSI on Barcelona and other teams:
“I don’t have to go to another team to show something. I’m at the best team in the world, one of the best cities with my family settled in and my kids with their friends. I don’t need to move.”
Lionel MESSI on himself:
“I know that every year I fight to win everything. I challenge myself every year and I don’t need to go to another team to prove anything to anyone. One at times thinks of another league, like England but at the time of making a decision, leaving Barcelona is very difficult.
“I’m not interested in being the best of all time. Every time I start a year I try to improve personally, win everything, leave everything on the pitch every time I go out, give it all for my teammates and for myself. It does not change anything to be the best of all time.
“I always want to improve myself and I do not compete with anyone, because I do not play to be the best of all time but to improve myself year after year and to keep winning. The more titles you win at the end, the better. And obviously, winning with the national team would be the best because it was not given to us.”
Lionel MESSI on Real Madrid:
“Madrid has something that only they have. They win playing badly. We have to be very superior to our rivals to win. I don’t compete with Cristiano RONALDO. It stimulates me to see Madrid in another final because I want to win the Champions League every year.”
Lionel MESSI on Luis SUAREZ:
“We live every day together and it’s a great friendship. He doesn’t just score, he gives you much more. He runs, he pressures… Sometimes we’ll be pressuring during a match and I’ll see him beside me and he’ll start to run. I’ll say to myself I have to go!”
Lionel MESSI on Andres INIESTA:
“We’ve practically spent our entire careers together and it was spectacular to live it with him.”