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
Aguirre Named Japan Coach     
Former Mexico coach Javier Aguirre on Thursday was appointed head coach of the Japanese national team, ...
Swans Sign Montero    
Swansea on Thursday signed Ecuadorian winger Jefferson Montero on a four-year deal from Mexican club Morelia. ...
Orlando City Admits Robinho Talks     
Orlando City owner Flavio Augusto da Silva revealed that the MLS club is in advanced talks ...
Piazon Heads to Frankfurt on Loan    
Eintracht Frankfurt on Thursday signed Chelsea midfielder Lucas Piazon on a season-long loan. The Brazilian, 20, ...
Man City U21's Racism Claim to be Investigated    
The Croatian soccer federation (HNS) has said it will investigate Manchester City's claim that one of ...
Gareth Bale: La Liga Trumps English Premier League    
Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale believes Spain's La Liga is superior to the English Premier League ...
Report: CAS Could Reduce Suarez Ban    
An unnamed source from the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) tells Goal.com that Luis Suarez's ...
Spurs Signs Vorm, Davies; Swans Sign Sigurdsson    
Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday signed Dutch international goalkeeper Michel Vorm and Wales defender Ben Davies from ...
Stoke Signs Krkic From Barcelona    
Stoke City on Tuesday completed the signing of Bojan Krkic from Barcelona. Krkic, 23, became the ...
Report: Lampard Completes NYCFC Move     
Former Chelsea legend Frank Lampard has completed a move to new MLS franchise New York City ...
>> Section 2 Around the Net Archives