Lionel MESSI wins the golden boot, renews with Barcelona and talks Argentina.
It’s been a great week for Lionel MESSI. For the fourth time in his career, Lionel MESSI has won the European Golden Boot award. MESSI was awarded the boot on Friday by Barcelona team mate Luis SUAREZ. Leo scored 37 goals last season which earned him the prize ahead of Sporing Lisbon’s Bas DOST (who scored 34 goals) and Borussia Dortmund’s Pierre-Emerick AUBAMEYANG (who scored 31 goals).
MESSI had this to say about winning the award:
Lionel MESSI wins the Golden Boot:
“I always say individual prizes come from collective efforts. It’s a prize for everyone. Without [my teammates], I wouldn’t be able to win this, it’s down to the group.”
“I have always said I don’t consider myself a striker but I have had the luck to score the goals which give me these awards. I notice my evolution. I have grown, both on and off the pitch, adding things to my game. I enjoy being a player more and more all the time.”
Following the award, Spanish newspaper Marca held a lengthy interview with the world’s best player where he discussed World Cup qualification, the World Cup itself, retirement and more. Here are bits of the interview:
Lionel MESSI on World Cup qualification:
“It was very tough and complicated to qualify (with Argentina). We went through three coaches and it wasn’t easy to adapt. Each coach came with his own philosophy and ideas. The last coach was Sampaoli and we played four elimination matches and some friendlies. We continue in a process of growth. In the end, it was very complicated to qualify.”
Lionel MESSI on the World Cup, favorites, teams missing out:
“Germany is going to be one of the favorites [for the World Cup]. There are other candidates like Brazil, Spain, or France. They’ve shown that they’ve become stronger and they will reach the World Cup in good condition.
“Holland didn’t qualify? It’s like what I mentioned earlier. Each team has their difficulties for qualifying for the World Cup, either in South America or Europe. Football gets complicated. Holland was left out… also Italy. They are teams that have participated in the World Cup for years and nobody expected them to not qualify.”
Lionel MESSI on family:
“What remains of that kid who arrived at Barça at the age of 13? My eagerness and desire are the same. Obviously, a lot of time has passed since then and many things have happened, both on and off the pitch. How has my family changed? It’s changed dramatically. You start to see different things in a different way. The truth is, being a father is the most beautiful thing that has happened to me in my life.
“Having two children and waiting for another is fantastic. Having the first child was an incredible feeling, the second the same, and the third will be the same.
“My daily life is based on my children. In the morning, I take Thiago to school and when I come back from training, I go and pick him up. When he comes home, we spend time with Mateo and Antonella until dinner time. We put them to bed and not much else happens after that. Antonella and I will then try to do things to pass time; we’re a normal family.”
“My kids don’t really ask me to play football with them, but sometimes they do. Even Mateo will ask, who is the youngest. Thiago is already going to training, but they don’t really ask me to play football with them. Mateo is right-handed; they’re both right-handed.
“We very rarely as a family talk about football at home. Something very big has to happen with the club or national team to cause us to deal with those issues at home. Do my kids know how I am? Mateo, obviously not, not yet. He looks at me weird when someone asks me for pictures or autographs. He doesn’t understand. Thiago, already begins to realize, more or less, but not quite. Thiago likes to go the stadium to watch the games, but he doesn’t fully understand it. At home, he’ll call me ‘Leo MESSI,’ because that’s what he hears at school, but he doesn’t understand why.
“Is it easy to be Lionel Messi? I’m a normal person who always tries to spend time with their family. It is true that many times I would like to go unnoticed and live a normal life, without thinking that all the time they are watching everything I do.”
Lionel MESSI on retirement:
“What will I do after football? I don’t know what I will do. We have spoken several times in the family about how I will occupy my time once my football career is over. “I’ve always said that I do not see myself becoming a coach, I don’t feel it. When a few years pass, I’ll see what happens, but today I do not see myself as a coach. I don’t know what my future will be like. I still have several years left and then we’ll see.
“When the end of my career is close, hopefully then I’ll know what I want to do in the future.”
And finally, it is now known that MESSI will end his career (at least his European playing career) with Barcelona after having signed a contract renewal which will keep him at the club until 2021. The buy out clause? €700 million.