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Messi: "I'll be at Barça for as long as they want me to be"

In an interview with Coach magazine, Lionel Messi talked about his career so far, his future at Barcelona, and the "mutual respect" between him and Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo
Espanyol vs Barcelona live: Copa

El delantero argentino del Barcelona, Leo Messi, durante un encuentro.
David RamosGetty Images

Real Sociedad – Barcelona live

Update: this interview has been reported as fake and is under investigation.

You can read the full original interview at Coach Magazine

Which player did you want to emulate growing up?

Of course I admired Maradona, he was a real inspiration for me. Also when Pablo Aimar started to break through, I used to really enjoy watching him play.

Who helped you settle when you first got to Barcelona?

It was difficult for me leaving my country, but I became good friends with Cesc Fabregas at La Masia and we are still good friends now.

Which manager or coach has had the greatest effect on you as a player?

All the coaches I have played under I have learnt things from, but you always look back to the one that gave you that first chance – that was [Frank] Rikjaard for me. He had to show that trust in me to train with the first team, then play my first game – he started everything for me.

MESSI in 2006
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What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome?

I needed hormone injections when I was a child as I wasn’t growing fast enough and Barcelona agreed to pay for them. Although that wasn’t the reason we moved, as a family we did move to Spain when I was 13. It was the best decision we could have made, but as a young boy, leaving your home and your friends for the unknown… that was challenging.

What motivates you?

To win trophies for my club and country. That is why I never look back at my success. I can do that when I am retired, for now it is about looking forward to more success.

Why do you work so well with Suarez and Neymar?

Firstly we work really hard in training to make happen what happens in games. We do have a really good natural connection though – good friendships with each other away from football – and that helps.

Would you consider playing in the Premier League?

I have always said that Barcelona has given me everything and

Luis Suarez (L) of FC Barcelona celebrates with his teammates Lionel Messi (C) and Neymar Santos Jr (R)
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Luis Suarez (L) of FC Barcelona celebrates with his teammates Lionel Messi (C) and Neymar Santos Jr (R)Alex CaparrosGetty Images

Who do you think is going to win the Premier League this season?

It is a very competitive league, last season showed that, so it makes it very difficult to predict. Of course Pep is a very successful coach, he will be adjusting to the league, but I am sure that he will be successful.

Who’s the best British player you’ve played against?

Over the years we have faced many British teams in Europe and come up against many good players, but I have always had a big respect for Wayne Rooney. He has played at the highest level for many years and is one of the special players of the generation.

Who convinced you to play for Argentina again?

After the disappointment of losing the final I had time to think and to speak with people, and I felt it was the right option to reverse my decision. I still have big ambitions to win a trophy with Argentina.

What’s the favourite goal you’ve scored?

I choose this one not because of the beauty, but because of the importance. It was the header I scored in the Champions League final in 2009. We were 1-0 up and that goal killed the game.

Which is more important: A wonder goal of individual brilliance or a deciding goal in a final?

Always the deciding goal. What use is a goal of brilliance if you do not win the competition?

What’s the most important trophy you’ve won?

At Barcelona we want to win everything. At the start of the season there is an expectation that we can win everything, we try not to prioritise or make one trophy more important than another.

How do you view Ronaldo? Has playing at the same time as another all-time great motivated you?

There is a mutual respect. I view him as a great player who has achieved great things because that is exactly what he is. My motivation, though, has always come from wanting to do well for Barcelona and Argentina, and the fans.

What’s the most important lesson football taught you?

I hate to lose. It does not just affect me for a few hours after the game, but for longer. I can not stand the feeling to lose. You can use that to make sure you give everything you need to to win.

Would you change any of your ratings in FIFA 17?

The whole game is always pretty accurate!


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