Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Messi still having 'fun like a child'
New York Times, May 23rd, 2011 2:03PM

MOST READ

MOST COMMENTED

Jere Longman visited Lionel Messi in Barcelona and delivers an in-depth feature on the 23-year-old Argentine star that recounts his arrival in Spain at age 13 to his current heroics, which have helped Barca to another La Liga title and a place in next Saturday's Champions League final against Manchester United.

“We thought he was mute,” said Gerard Pique, the Barcelona center back who played with Messi in the club’s youth academy. “He was in the locker room, on the bench, just sitting. He said nothing to us for the first month. We traveled to Switzerland to play a tournament, and he started to talk and have fun. We thought it was another person. He was really good, but he was really small and thin. His legs were like fingers. One coach said, ‘Don’t try to tackle him strong, because maybe you will break him.’ And we said, ‘OK, but don’t worry because we cannot catch him.'"

Messi stood 4-foot-7 when he arrived at Barcelona, which agreed to pick up the costs of treatment for a growth-hormone deficiency. As the story goes, his contract was written on a napkin. He now stands 5-7. If his lack of size made him shy and self-conscious as a boy, his low center of gravity made him spectacularly elusive as a soccer player.

Messi told Longman he plays with the same eagerness that he did in Argentina when he improvised soccer balls from stones and women’s tights and cans of cola. “I have fun like a child in the street,” he said. “When the day comes when I’m not enjoying it, I will leave football.”

Read the original story...


No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Section 2 Around the Net
High school vs. club debate rages in New Jersey    
High school vs. club has long been an issue on the boys side, culminating with the ...
Man United's Falcao Out Two Weeks    
Manchester United striker Radamel Falcao will be out for another two weeks with a "new injury", ...
Arsenal's Injury Woes Ahead of Man United Clash     
While much has been made of the injury crisis facing Manchester United coach Louis van Gaal, ...
Bolton Coach Fumes at Klinsmann    
Bolton Wanderers coach Neil Lennon on Friday slammed USA coach Jurgen Klinsmann for what he called ...
Liverpool Investigates Sturridge Injury    
Liverpool has opened an investigation into Daniel Sturridge's persistent injury problems after the striker suffered yet ...
Report: Messi Could Leave Barca over Tax Threat     
According to unnamed sources cited by Spanish newspaper El Confidencial, Lionel Messi may leave Barcelona due ...
Chelsea's Costa 'Totally Recovered' From Injury    
Jose Mourinho on Friday revealed that star striker Diego Costa, who missed Spain's 3-0 win against ...
Klopp Hints at Reus Departure     
Jurgen Klopp admitted that he is powerless to keep Marco Reus at Borussia Dortmund, and hinted ...
Report: Blind Injury Not as Bad as Feared     
Manchester United on Thursday was boosted by the news that defender Daley Blind will be out ...
Parma Deducted Points for Missing Payments    
Serie A club Parma will be deducted between one and six points this season for failing ...
>> Section 2 Around the Net Archives