Playing football more important to me than money or personal glory: Messi

Posted By: Staff

London, Mar. 28 (ANI): Argentine star Lionel Messi is so revered by Barcelona's demanding fans because of his attitude, which has not altered since the days when he linked up with Fabregas in a Barcelona youth team that produced a harvest of footballing beauty.

"To me, football is the most important thing. It is more important than the money and the personal glory. When I am on the pitch, it doesn't matter if it is a Champions League Final, I feel like a child," News of The World quoted Messi, as saying.

"When I am running with the ball, nothing else matters and I think I am the only person that exists in the entire planet. When I am playing football I am totally free, no amount of awards or money can buy you freedom that is why I am so totally in love with the game," he added.t is an ethos that would surely find favour with Arsenal's Arsene Wenger, the manager charged with finding a way to thwart the World Footballer of the Year.

Wenger is cautious about his appraisal of Messi. He says that as a devotee of total football, he loves watching Messi play.

Wenger never saw Messi play in that famous Barcelona academy side.

"I could not go as a manager to watch a youth team game at Barcelona because they would not welcome me," he laughed before explaining how he signed Fabregas after watching him play for Spain's under-17 team.

But he knows all about the team of 2002-03 - Barcelona Cadete A - that featured two 15-year-olds by the names of Messi and Fabregas.

"Messi, Fabregas, Pique? Is it any wonder they won their games 8-0, 9-0, 10-0?" he asked.

And the scorelines could have been more emphatic had the coaches not occasionally withdrawn their dazzling talent so as not to be seen humiliating aspiring young footballers of a tender age.

Messi scored 30 goals in 37 games as his team won the Spanish Championship and the Catalan Championship.

Barcelona's care ensured Messi's loyalty. In the Catalan capital, there is not even the slightest fear that Messi will not see out his career at the Nou Camp and that's not just because he is reported to have made 29.6 million pounds last year.he only contentious issue people discuss in Barcelona is whether he can get any better. Whether it can get any better.

Leading Barca to an unprecedented treble last season, with trinkets such as the World Club Championship to follow, Messi scored 38 times.

He has won two European Cups, three League titles. This season,he has scored 25 league goals, 34 in all. (ANI)

Story first published: Sunday, March 28, 2010, 13:49 [IST]
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