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
Report: Real Beats Barca to Promising Youngster    
Real Madrid has beaten Barcelona to the signing of promising youngster Marco Asensio, in what Spanish ...
Guardiola Hopes Messi Stays at Barca     
Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola said he hopes "with all my heart" that Lionel Messi ends ...
Man City, Bayern Fans Persist with UEFA Protest    
PA Sport reports that Manchester City and Bayern Munich will continue their "Respect ... Fans" protest ...
Report: Sony to End FIFA Partnership     
Japanese consumer electronics giant Sony will become the second official FIFA sponsor to decide not to ...
Arsenal Fails to Register Giroud for UCL     
Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud will be forced to sit out the Gunners' crucial UEFA Champions League ...
Koeman: Saints Can Finish Top Four    
Southampton coach Ronald Koeman insists his team can remain in the Premier League's top four following ...
Mourinho Downplays Di Matteo's Chelsea Success     
Jose Mourinho refused to be drawn into a comparison with former Chelsea coach Roberto Di Matteo, ...
Report: Barca's Vermaelen May Need Surgery     
Goal.com reports that Barcelona defender Thomas Vermaelen could require surgery to cure the hamstring injury that ...
Messi's Top Ten Records    
Barcelona striker Lionel Messi, who became La Liga's all-time leading scorer (253 goals) following his hat ...
Rodgers Admits His Future Could be in Doubt     
Brendan Rodgers admitted that he could be fired after Liverpool slumped to a fourth successive defeat ...
>> Section 2 Around the Net Archives