Lionel MESSI discusses Argentina team, 2014, 2006 World Cup, 2005 FIFA U20 World Cup, more

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Lionel MESSI gave a lengthy interview with TyC Sports where he discussed the Argentina national team, 2010 FIFA World Cup, the 2006 FIFA World Cup, the 2005 FIFA U20 World Cup, the Olympics, free kicks, his personal life and much more.

The Argentina captain once more gave a long interview as his team prepares for the 2019 Copa America. In regards to the current team, here’s what he had to say:

“I feel very well, integrated. There’s a beautiful group that is very anxious to do well. A really good group, with good people, beyond just football that have a lot of desire.

“We are going with the same desire and anxiousness as always but the truth is that Argentina are going through a process of change. For most, it’s their first official tournament but it doesn’t mean Argentina won’t go wanting to win the Copa America. We are not candidates like other times.

“I finished the season more tired and frustrated mentally than physically because of what happened in the last fifteen days. Of the last few years, it was a season where I played less and I feel well.”

The first time he wore the Argentina national team shirt:

“It was a spectacular moment for me, a moment I had wished would come. A lot had been done for that to happen because it was complicated during that time, I was playing in Barcelona and it wasn’t easy to see me back then as it is with the kids now. It was a different time, it was a dream come true.

“Two friendly matches were setup against Paraguay and Uruguay for me to be able to participate, it was quick, rapid. It had to be done, it was the moment.”

About playing with Argentina, MESSI said “in no moment” did he doubt playing for Argentina.

“We did everything, we kept sending videos and anything of mine for them to know me here. To see if I would have a chance to come here or not.”

The FIFA U20 World Cup in the Netherlands:

“It was one of the most beautiful moments of my career. Not only for being champion but for the experience, living it, the group… I enjoyed it a lot and to top it off we were champions.

When celebrating the FIFA U20 World Cup, he wore a shirt saying “Mari, Bruno, Tomi and Angus.” When asked who they are:

“My sister, my cousin, my nephews… At the time, they were the youngest of the family. I don’t remember why I had that shirt.

Lionel Messi celebrates winning the 2005 FIFA U20 World Cup with Argentina.


On the start of the FIFA U20 World Cup:

“I started off on the bench. We lost the first match against the United States and in the second, I started. I scored and I never came off ever. At the time, it seemed easy to win but it changed and it cost more. I have this, the Olympic games but when I say I want to win something, I mean with the senior national team.”

MESSI also spoke about getting red carded on his senior Argentina national team debut:

“At that moment, it was terrible. My first match, that way… I didn’t know what could happen after that, luckily, it was just an anecdote. I remember crying a lot, the biggest (players) called me, they sheltered me, they told me to calm down.”

Lionel Messi on the substitutes bench for Argentina against Germany at the 2006 FIFA World Cup.


The Argentina captain spoke about his team’s elimination against Germany at the 2006 FIFA World Cup and him not playing:

“On one hand, I was fuming for not having played but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t watching the game, that I wanted to win and to pass to the next round.

“When we were eliminated, the dressing room was terrible, tears, bitterness, I was the first one… I don’t remember the moment they took that picture, the one with the boots, because there were no substitutions left. They started saying that I didn’t watch the match, that I didn’t care, that I was elsewhere… That’s where everything started, ha (the criticism). I didn’t think of it. It was idiotic. Yes, I was fuming because I wanted to come on (as a substitute) but I didn’t want Argentina to lose because I didn’t play.”

On the struggle of being with the Argentina national team for the 2008 Beijing summer Olympics:

“GUARDIOLA was a phenomenon and gave me permission but it took someone from the club to control me. It’s that at that moment, I was injured. I really wanted to go and I was constantly talking with people of the Argentina national team who were waiting for me until the last day.”

On getting a visa:

“I went running from Italy to Barcelona to do the paperwork and to fly out that same night. I was unbearable, now I’m not as unbearable because time passes. But it showed on my face, I was angry at life. I just wanted to f*** off and I let it be known.

Winning gold at the 2008 Beijing summer Olympics:

“The title has a lot of value just like all the medals that you could win with your country. It’s important and it’s SIGNIFICANT. I enjoyed it a lot at that moment and we celebrated the way we deserved to celebrate.

“We were there only one time (at the Olympic village). We crossed some of the best sports athletes like Kobe BRYANT, Rafael NADAL, it was impressive. We asked them for photos.”

On his dad:

“They talk more about my dad than other football players. They put him in the middle of a lot of things, myself as well but one thing is to talk about me as a football player and the other is of my dad.

“They would say that I would select players for the Argentina team, coaches… I can isolate myself and dedicate myself to playing but they suffer, the truth is that they are the one’s who have a really hard time.”

On dedicating a goal to his dad:

“It was a match against Uruguay that we won in the World Cup qualifiers. My father was going through a difficult time and the best way for me to be with him or close to him was to do that. I know what he enjoys in football, to see me play, he suffers a lot, it was a nice gift for him.”

Leaving his family to be with the Argentina national team:

“It costs me to leave them (his family), it costs more every time. Every time it costs me more to be with the Argentina team setup, being far from them, I suffer.”

MESSI spoke about the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the World Cup in general. When asked if he will win the World Cup:

“What do I know… God will decide if we will meet or not. It would be the highest thing possible, it’s the biggest dream I have left to accomplish. To be so close at that World Cup (2014) was terrible because we deserved to lift it.

“It was the best moment, in general. We had an impressive group. It gets more complicated every time, no one gifts you anything and not letting in goals is very important, not giving space.”

Lionel Messi during the 2014 FIFA World Cup final ceremony.


Lionel MESSI on wearing the number 10 shirt and being given the shirt by Diego MARADONA:

“The number 10 shirt is special, for where it came from, for who used it. The number 10 shirt of the Argentina national team was made important by Diego but for me, it doesn’t change anything to wear the 10, the 11 or the number 9 shirt.

“When he gave me (the shirt) he told me he wanted to give me the shirt that he used, that he saw me preparing to wearing it and that it was the time, that I wear it and enjoy it.

On wearing the captain’s armband for the first time and it being given by MARADONA as coach:

“It was something spectacular. They made me talk a little bit in the dressing room, ha. It was complicated but beautiful. I’m not one to say a lot, just what is necessary. Every one knows the importance of the matches.

“I’m captain in my own way. It’s true that I grew up somewhere else and adopted other customs. It’s a beautiful responsibility, one that I like and I manage it calmly.”

Lionel Messi with Argentina against Greece at the 2010 FIFA Word Cup.


MESSI mentioned that it was coach Alfio BASILE who taught him how to take free kicks using Juan Roman RIQUELME as an example.

“He told me “get your baby foot up, you don’t see how Roman does it?” I pull it slowly, I don’t do it the same way. I was trying and at least I was always kicking it the same way. I wasn’t kicking just to kick.”

On the team play:

“Matches are tighter every time, more tactical, there’s no space. Now, every time there are 11 guys in the area and quickly counter attack you.

“No one gives you anything, no one is exposed. There are few teams that want to play football, that have the ball, that open up and give you space.”

36 COMMENTS

  1. I don’t need Argentina to win this Copa America to appreciate everything Messi the GOAT did for NT. It’s very sad to see how many people back home criticize him but then again argies often times we forget that football is a collective effort and no single player ( even the GOAT) can’t win anything on his own. I don’t expect much of this transition team I’ll be very pleased to watch Messi playing this new challenge regardless of the outcome.

    • Needed is different from legacy. Messi will be remembered as one of the greatest football players in many generations to come. However the trophy of WC and Copa will legitimate it. that’s why it is important. We all don’t want Messi to be remembered as one of the FC Barca greatest players only, right sir…

      • Then why Johan Cryuff constantly being hailed as all time great despite never winning WC and Euro?

        Because people judge Messi with different standard. Messi needs to score 50 goals per season for intense to be considered as decent season. Other player only needs to do quarter of that to be considered having a good season.

  2. I don’t need Argentina to win this Copa America to appreciate everything Messi the GOAT did for NT. It’s very sad to see how many people back home criticize him but then again argies often times we forget that football is a collective effort and no single player ( even the GOAT) can’t win anything on his own. Even I don’t expect much of this transition team I’ll be very pleased to watch Messi playing this new challenge regardless of the outcome.

  3. Hi Albicelestes,
    This is Guru here and this is my first post in this forum. Feel very privileged to be a part of this group. While we all know that which ever tournament Argentina are a part of, we expect them to win the tournament.
    But what we forget is that we have been to the finals of 3 majors in last 5 years and not many teams have been able to do that. Of course, luck has been a major factor that did not allow us to win any of the titles but we can be happy that the players have given their all in each of the matches they have played.

    Coming to CA 2019, I did read today that Messi himself has played down mentioning that Argentina are the favorites. That’s very much true especially considering the fact that we are a team in transition and that new players are emerging. We are bound to go through rough patches here and there but we truly stand united with our Albiceleste what ever be the situation.

    Let us take it one game at a time and first up is Nicaragua and this is a chance for the youngsters to showcase their potential and impress Scaloni. From then on, its against Colombia and the subsequent matches. Rather than expecting Argentina to win, let us enjoy their game with no expectations and sit back and relax. We have a once in a generation player amongst us and what more can we ask for. Let us not burden our NT as what they need now is strong backing and support in spite of the results.

    Coming to the coach, we all know how finicky the Argentine media is and knowing very well that his head would be always under threat, Scaloni, though just 41, still decided to take up the coaching role (which other senior coaches refused). He is slowly but surely building a team for the future and we expect that majority of this team would be the fulcrum for until at least WC 2022.

    Let us enjoy this team, knowing and hoping that right results are just around the corner.

    Guru

    • I think even all our players realize they’re not in good shape as a team. Messi and Tagliafico has said the team main target is to find their best form.

      Even though we’re not favorite, who do you think play a much better football than Argentina or the best football among these 12 teams? On paper the winner probably would be Uruguay or Brazil, but what happened in recent WC/Copa/Euro proof top teams that looked unbeatable prior to the tournament can be well beaten by underdogs.

      To completely write out our chance would be an overstatement. Germany topped their qualifying group with 10 win out of 10 , … but then got dominated by S Korea and Mexico. Croatia only won 1 of their last 3 qualifier games and even lost to 0-2 to Peru in friendly, yet they’re World cup finalist. Uruguay , Brazil and Argentina were favorites in last 2 Copa and Chile won both times. They even lost to Argentina at group stage but still won the thropy nevertheless.

      The main problem would be the mindset/mentallity of our players. Let say we take the lead 1-0 against Peru and dominates them for large part of the game, I could guarentee we will look like nervous wreck in last 20 minutes and possibly conceided late equalizer and lost the shootout. Argentina is notorious for this.

      • Yes totally agree with you. Having said that, conceding a goal towards the end and penalty kicks are more from a psychology perspective rather than skill set. That’s where our DT should come into picture in terms of having the team mentally prepared.

        • Exactly, I wonder who could possibly fix this ongoing problem… Obviously we also need luck just like every other team when they win a tournament but you also need that mental toughness.

          Argentina always have problem when opponents goes physical and fouling constantly. Venezuela did that in recent friendly and had a success with it. Chile did that in 2 finals and we couldnt play our best football like we did in semifinals. Neymar just got injured against Qatar and most likely out from Copa and Qatar is in our group. Hopefully none of our players will get injured .

  4. adolfo gaich is future star he should be nutured properly and now since u20 wc is over he should immediately move to a european club in serie a or la liga or may be to ajax fc along with almendra , sosa anibal moreno also should move to good european club and our fbs like ortega and mura and gks, like pourtau and maybe even roffo need to move to europe asap to improve their tactical awareness and hopefully arg u17 team win u17 wc an senior nt win copa america 2019 and post copa 2019 u20 nt and u17 nt should be slowly integrated with senior nt to make argentina nt competetive against european team and brazil,uruguay nts’ and hopefully walter benitez and musso are given chances post copa america 2019 and one young gk like pourtau or joaquin blazquez (both below 21 years age ) should also be called post copa 2019 as third choice gk atleast to give them experience and increase their market value

  5. Hey guys. I’m new here. Argentina is the team I support in every competition. Hopefully they do well. Vamos!

  6. Neymar has been ruled out from Copa America from last night match aghainst Qatar,Hen sufferered a right ankle ligament tear.He has been ruled out of Copa America a potential replacement maybe Lucas Moura or Fabinho could be called-up.
    Feel sad for him.Get well Soon Ney.

    Seeing Messi Optimistic is really giving me excitement hope we get our hopes fulfilled.Vamos Leo Vamos Argentino!!!Argentina to Glory

    • As a argentina fan never wanted injury of a player i wanted Argentina to defeat Brazil with Neymar . But really i desperately want 1 or 2 of our GK to get injured because all of them are just piece of crap. Now goalkeeper situation really scare me after watching U20 match. I dont know when the internal politics will end in AFA selection, i thought our GK would be Rulli, Musso and Romero.
      Some of selection still haunts me
      Papu Gomez beside a stunning season at atlanta and helped them to qualify for CL.
      Why Paredes have been included instead of Banega , he is in horrtible form at PSG.
      Casco over Ansaldi/ J silva.

      • Apart from GK i think copa squad selection is fair, Armani have more big match experience as well as matches for NT compare to Musso or Rulli, Armani may not be world class or good at penalties but not error prone, Armani won copa libaratories with River this season even he failed to perform good at NT Armani is the best GK at moment. It hardly matter who is going to be our 2nd or 3rd GK therefor Andrada or Maschrin contribution is not needed only hope that Armani replicate his from in copa america like he did in copa libaratories

      • Mrinal1235. Do you know why Barca are Successful with Messi.Because the Barca board when Tito Vivalona was alive and Rjikaard Guardiola were the coaches they sat down and thought how we can bring Messi to full potential to get his best out of it building things around him with the style Xavi Iniesta players who know how Messi can bring success
        AFA ,have they ever done that??Politics ,I wonder when will this Internal politics end and AFA will start new prospect developing the players and teams .Bring the coach that are best the likes of Someone,Spaletti,Gallardo and we get Scaloni who selects 2 Idiot GK and a Farmer league GK.I wish they get Injured at least Armani he has 0 sense of positioning and poor handling

    • Don’t feel too bad for Brazil though, Neymar brings a heck of alot of baggage and distraction to the team and having someone like Moura instead might be a blessing in disguise for Brazil.

      • “As a argentina fan never wanted injury of a player i wanted Argentina to defeat”

        Agree, I want Argentina being better than Brazil with all their best players.

        On the other hand I agree also with Mamoun. This might be the case:

        “Don’t feel too bad for Brazil though, Neymar brings a heck of alot of baggage and distraction to the team and having someone like Moura instead might be a blessing in disguise for Brazil”.

  7. It looks like Messi have a more realistic target at Copa; Arg is not a candidate and favorite and the team is on the process and growth phase. So just enjoy and good luck

  8. My apologize to all Arg fans..If Messi was born in Spain. He had lifted 2 WC and 2 European Cup…

    our main problem is with the DT; same with upcoming Copa. Again a question arise is it Scaloni team or Menotti selections ? Look at the news how Pizzaro was given a chance by Menotti on the last minute. Although he is not in the first 40 players selections. And lets go back to UCL for an example, lets compare between Klopp and Poche; how the selections and optimize the subs tactics. If Poch is in LFC i doubt he will bench Milner or given Origi a chance ? Same goes to Klopp, if he is in Spurs he will start with Lucas Mora and subs Alpi or Siswoko in 2nd half . Maybe i am wrong; it is just my two cents.

    I keep my finger crossed that Scaloni, Aimar and Samuel along with old guard Menotti do their best to touch and bring back the Copa Trophy to Buenos Aires.From the die hard Albiceleste fan.

  9. Seeing Argentina NT losing in those tournaments is hurting and sad for us. Imagine how much it will hurt the players. Especially this guy. It may be unbearable, the scars will be there forever in their lifetimes. Only comforting thing is like everything else in life time will heal all wounds.But still it will be catastrophical to live with Bad memories.

    “No one gifts you anything, Not letting in Goals is Important,Not giving spaces”

    Its as complicated as that. If we don’t let in goals we will not loose. Keep the defence and Goalkeeping sharp. That can take you forward. That can..

    Are they ready? Only time will tell. It will take a collective and monumental effort to win this Copa. Personally the player selection is better than the 2018 WC team. Let’s see.

  10. Brazil without Neymar will not be same and Coutinho is completely lost his form unless Coutinho back into the form this Brazil team with aging defense and farmers like richalison, Jesus with World Class GK Allison won’t be threat for Argentina

  11. Reason Messi not got success in NT after 2005-2008 period is completely terrible team selection, Argentina coaches failed to utilize 2008 Olympic Gold winning team in next world cup only in 2014 Argentina had better tournament but Germany was too strong to beat.

  12. Neymar seems to have suffered from a very bad right ankle ligament injury (the same injury that kept him out for months in recent times) and will likely sit out of copa. Hope we can capitalize on this and win the copa in their own backyard. Vamos!

  13. Remember the 1 on 1 chance against Germany Tevez blew .. Had it been Messi the ball would have ripped through the net . At age 17 he was already best forward in the team, miles ahead of Crespo, Saviola, Tevez and Julio Cruz. Messi was already getting picked ahead of bench warmer Saviola in Barcelona but psycho skeleton Pekermen had Messi at the bottom of his list.

    2014, If we had fully fit Aguero and Dimaria in that final and had Brazil put any fight against Germany in the semifinal , we could have won it. But Brazil made sure that Germany arrived in the final fully fresh!! The only fault of Sabella was he took ultra defensive team to the world cup and when 2 of the fab-4 got injured our team had very little creativity left and when he took Lavezzi off in the final, Germany started their nonstop onslaught !!

      • Yh that was the worst substitute
        Lavezzi was the best player in the first half .
        Of the game . Plus Germany had
        Free game against the yellow bananas
        They literally played half hour and day
        Before us so they had proper rest
        That Is exactly what Alex sabella said.

  14. Nice words, captain ! keep’em coming for others to open their eyes on reality !

    Now, let’s go and win this damn thing in Brazil’s backyard .
    Vamos Argentina, Carajo

    • lovely interview.
      his interviews about the NT are getting more and more heartfelt over the years. It’s only low IQ idiots who still think this man has not done everything possible for one person to bring a cup for his country.

      • It is a really good interview. The personal parts got a chuckle when he said “llego un par de chancletas” and the back and forth with the shirt.

        Its disheartening to hear the low level IQ’s squawking away but eff em, they are the minority anyways.

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