Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Messi: "It's about the team, not about individuals"

Barcelona player Lionel Messi gave an interview to Catalan sports paper Sport.

What is your state of mind ahead of the final against Manchester United? Anxious, hopeful, nervous?
No, I'm never nervous. I'm hopeful, eager, more than ever. And also very happy to have reached the final after already having won two important trophies.

And how is your form?

How did the cup final against Athletic in Valencia influence you?
In a good way. Things turned out perfectly for us and that gives you a lot of calmness. In the other case there would have been more doubts.

Winning the treble has become an obsession?
At the start not at all. We always went step by step. Now that we have won the Liga and the Copa, we're going for it and we want to take this chance. We want the Copa, the Liga and the Champions League.

Iniesta and Henry could be back. Are they fundamental?
I hope both can be there in the final, they are very important and they deserve to play a game like that. Iniesta had a spectacular season and Henry as well, scoring a lot of goals. It will be easier when they're available.

Without Iniesta it will of course be a different game.
Yes because Andrés is unique.

You have won two trophies, you've beaten your personal scoring record and you didn't get injured. A dream season so far?
Without any doubt, it's my best year. In every aspect, football, goals, and I hope to finish it with the Champions League.

This would make you the number one in the world. You're thinking about that?
Not at all, not at all. I play to win a trophy with Barcelona.

All eyes will be on you and Cristiano Ronaldo. How are you living the built-up?
It's a unique game. The motivation, the anxiety... It's obvious that it's a special game, but not only for him and me but for all players. The team will be crucial, in our case starting with Valdés.

Who was already crucial in the final in Paris.
Indeed. Víctor was fantastic against Arsenal, and Belletti scored the decisive goal. That proves my point: it's about the team, not about individuals.

The debate about you and Cristiano Ronaldo is boring to you?
Pffff, I don't know. I don't hink about it that way. It's not a personal fight. He's a great player with an impressive long-distance shot. We don't aim to be the best player in the world but we want to win with our team.

It's better that Manchester United is considered to be the favourites?
I think it's good to continue like we did so far, not putting pressure on ourselves and thinking about the unique chance we're having. We've always respected the opponents and we've never considered ourselves to be the favourites despite what people were saying.

Like when you defeated Madrid 2-6?
Yes, of course. We went there with modesty, but eager to win.

Will you play one the wing or in the centre like you did against Madrid?
Hmmmm... I'll play where the coach asks me to play of course. We won't explain everything.

Surprises are possible in that aspect?
Not really. The teams know each other too well.

You think that the neutral football fan will support Barcelona in the final?
Possibly. We've done our best and maybe we deserve to be rewarded for having given people a good time. I know there a lot of people who aren't Barça fans but who nonetheless admire and respect what we have done this season.

Honestly, how many games of Manchester United have you seen this season?
The truth is that I didn't see an entire game of Manchester. If I have seen something, it have been some highlights of the Champions League, but very few.

You are superstitious when preparing the games?
No, not at all, I'm not thinking a lot about these things.

A lot of people have asked you for tickets these day?
Incredible, the whole time.

And what are you doing then?
I change the subject.

Read more:
Vilanova: "Details will decide the final"
Keita: "We have to make one more step"
Messi: "When we have the ball, we enjoy ourselves"
Xavi: "We have to go out there, win it and that's it"
Pique: "I will score in Rome"
Keita: "We're convinced we can win the treble"


kamikaze kontiki said...

Messi, can I have a ticket ?

Leo said...

So did you see my golazo earlier this season? :)

kamikaze kontiki said...

lol !

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