Saturday, 9 May 2009

Messi: "I would like to be a better header"

Barcelona player Lionel Messi answered questions at the official UEFA website.

How do you deal with the pressure of being labelled the best player on earth, and what do you think makes you that special?
I don't know if I'm the best player in the world. At the moment Cristiano Ronaldo has the title of FIFA World Player of the Year. I don't pay too much attention to it. I'm not worried about it. If they want to give me the award, that's brilliant, because you have to enjoy these prizes. If not, that's absolutely fine too.

Do you feel this is your year to win the Ballon d'Or?
As I said, I don't think about it too much. I just try to play good football. If, after that, they give me the Ballon d'Or for European Footballer of the Year, I would be delighted, but if not I won't be depressed.

What do you say to people who compare you to Diego Maradona?
It makes me very proud, but there was only one Maradona and there will never be another like him. I always say it: I can't compare myself to him because he was extraordinary, one of a kind, the most complete player. It has been brilliant to meet him. With everything he represents for Argentina and for all Argentinians, it's a source of pride and a privilege to be managed by him. But I don't compare myself.

Can you give some tips on how to have better ball control. How do you practise? Are there particular exercises you do?
These are not things I've developed in training – they happen on their own. I think it's something innate that I have inside me. I've loved playing football since I was a little kid and I always played with bigger boys. Perhaps that helped my learning and the development of my game a bit.

What's on your mind when you are dribbling around opponents?
You don't think. You just live the moment, as I said earlier. I try to do my best to arrive in front of goal. On my way there, I dodge and check as I see fit. My thinking isn't premeditated. It's instinctive. Sometimes, luckily, it works out for me.

How does it feel when you score a goal?
It's difficult to explain. It's a lovely feeling. It's an explosion which comes from inside you and makes you want to share it with everyone around you. Even more so if you do it in an important game, because you can't express it through your mouth or your arms. You have to live it in person to understand.

Who inspired you as a boy and what encouraged you to fight for your place even when people discouraged you because of your size?
You always have to overcome things in life and the difficulty with my physique was one of them. My parents and Barcelona helped a lot. To be honest, I don't know if I really stopped to think too carefully about it. At the time I wanted to play football and that wasn't going to get in my way.

What key areas in your game would you like to improve on?
You always have to try to improve and I promise I'm trying to do that. For example, I would like to be a better header, and perhaps to be able to pre-empt the defender, because I realise I'm not tall. I'm also practising striking the ball better. I don't like to make do with what I have and no more.

What is the most important thing you have learned this season from coach Josep Guardiola?
That this is a team and we all work for the good of the team. The other day, against Real Madrid at the Bernabéu, for example, I played almost like a second striker. I almost always play out on the right, so it seemed strange to me beforehand, but I did it and it worked well for the team. So you have to think of the team and leave individualism to one side.

You have said you wish to spend your entire career at Barcelona. However, could you ever be tempted to take the challenge of playing in the English league at some stage?
The football in England is great, just as it is in Spain, but for now I'm very settled and I feel really valued at Barcelona. I know the Premiership is a great league, but Barcelona is a big part of my life and I'm not thinking of anything else. With time, we'll see. You never know.

Do you have any superstitions in preparing for a match?
No, I don't have superstitions. Before games I think about the people I love, but it's not superstition. It's just because it does me good to think that they're with me – nothing more. I'm not the kind to wear lucky charms or that kind of thing.

What was your best match so far?
I am very self-critical and I don't have one special game. I should think about it more carefully, but my memory's not very good and I'm not one for details. Perhaps the 3-3 draw with Real Madrid in Barcelona, when I scored three goals. Or this Saturday, at the Bernabéu, because it's very difficult to go there and we achieved something historic. We scored six goals at their place and I got two. But hopefully there will be other better games. That's what I'm always working for.

read the complete interview here

Read more:
Messi repeats wish to retire at Barcelona
To whom did Messi dedicate his Madrid goals?
Messi: "I also make mistakes"


Anonymous said...

Why does he need heading. Messi needs a right foot shot. If he had that he would be unstopable on the right wing cause cos defenders wouldnt be able to 'cheat' on guarding him cutting in. It just needs to be decent or enough of a threat to keep defenders honest, and will come in great use when he loses his pace. Look at fat ronalda with his left foot which he didnt have when young.

Anonymous said...

his attitude is the part he definetly doesn't have to work on. so humble. 10000 better then c.ronaldo

Carrer de Corsega said...

He definitely needs to work on the right foot finishing.

But I think he needs to start working on set-pieces. He is 21 and even if he develops free kick taking skills in 2 years, he will only be 23 and a better all around scoring threat. Imagine if he can take set-pieces like Ronaldinho in 3-4 years.

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