An exclusive interview of Barcelona super star and captain Lionel Messi by Catalan Journalist Jordi Evole as it happened on the 27/12/2020
The highly anticipated interview between Jordi Evole and Lionel Messi was released in it’s entirety last night, and it made things very clear regarding the player’s point of view on the recent issues, as well as the summer transfer saga that he was involved in.
The pair began the interview by speaking about the upcoming holidays and the player’s plans. Evole then asked Messi about his favourite childhood gift on Christmas.
“When I was little, I always asked for something football related. A jersey, a ball, boots… My parents did everything to make me happy.”
“I even remember receiving a ball that was very expensive, the official ball of the league. My father and mother always did their best.”
“I’m going to celebrate it in Argentina with my family.”
“I’m not someone who talks a lot to the media, I prefer to talk more with people close to me.”
I am a man of my word, I promised you the interview. I wanted to talk today.”
Lionel Messi about his personal life
“Playing on the PlayStation? I stopped playing. It’s more Thiago who plays. Before, I played all day long. After his birth, I stopped everything and then I played with him from time to time.”
“I admire many athletes: LeBron, Nadal, Federer. There’s Cristiano in football. There are lots of athletes who give their best to succeed.”
The interview slowly started to turn towards FC Barcelona, and Messi’s relation with the club:
Lionel Messi about Barcelona
“Barcelona is my entire life. I lived everything here, more than in Argentina. I have a love relationship with this club and with this city.”
“The club has formed me, as a player and as a person. I give everything for Barcelona. I have a love relationship.”
“Today I’m okay. It took a while before I started to feel well. I’m eager, and wanting to fight for all the titles that we compete for.”
Lionel Messi on Barcelona’s current situation
“The club are in a difficult situation. It’s difficult for everyone. It’s going to be very hard to be where we once were.”
“I don’t concern myself about what people say, everyone has their own opinion.”
Lionel Messi on if he has cried lately.
“I didn’t cry because of sports issues, but I did suffer a lot. I did cry on other issues, but I prefer not to go into details.”
“A lot people talk without knowing anything. People believe them because they are the ones who bring the news on TV or in the papers. “RMC” is a media-outlet who talked a lot of false stuff.”
Messi talks about his arrival in Barcelona.
“It was a difficult moment, because I was 13 years old and I was leaving everything behind me. Friends, the country…I was coming to a place where no one knew me.”
“At that time I was shy, like stuck in a shell. I only thought about achieving my dream.”
Messi on his son Thiago.
“Thiago is shy, he doesn’t like it that everyone is talking to him, but he’s getting used to everything.”
Messi on how he spends time with his children
“I do anything. When you play football or other sports. When they come to bed wake me up, I love everything. I watch Pokémon, Dragon Ball, Nobita (Doraemon).”
“Nobita? (Bartomeu’s nickname)
Smiles. I never called Bartomeu ‘Nobita’, others did, haha.”
Lionel Messi on his life
“My life is very normal and sometimes boring. I get up, have breakfast, take the kids to school, I train, I go back.”
“My kids are addicted to watching YouTube, and using the iPad and TV.”
Messi on if his kids complain about teachers getting close to them because they are his sons.
“Yes, they do, it bothers Thiago a lot, he is a shy kid and he doesn’t like these kinds of things.”
“I am a privileged person for everything I have experienced and for everything I live. But sometimes I want to be anonymous, sometimes I would like to go see a movie anonymously, or go to a restaurant.”
“I will always be grateful because the love that everyone gives me is spectacular.”
Messi on playing in an empty stadium.
“It’s horrible. Everything feels very cold, the feeling it gives me is very bad. Everything is different and you can see it back in the results.”
Messi talks about this season’s schedule.
“One doesn’t think about the athlete. It’s seen more for the economic interest than for the sport or the game.”
Messi on Maradona’s death.
“I couldn’t believe it when Maradona died, I got the message from my father and turned on the TV. Nobody is able believe that Diego is dead and that he is no longer with us. It’s terrible, and it’s odd.”
Messi on his tribute to Maradona.
“The people of Newell’s gave the shirt to me. That day I knew that I had to score a goal and it was strange. In a play out of nowhere, when I least looked for it, the goal appeared.”
“I want the best for my country. I don’t like to talk about politics, but I would like things to improve. I want the people to be happy.”
“You feel that politics has become like football, some people are fans of a political figure and no one can say anything about him or criticize him.”
Messi on the 8-2 loss to Bayern.
“It was a horrible game for everyone. We knew it was complicated, we were coming off a bad run, but you can’t imagine this result.”
Lionel Messi on wanting to be the best.
“I don’t play to be the best in the world. I play to win and give everything to my team.”
Messi on never speaking to a psychologist.
“I should have been but never have, i don’t know why. I struggle to take that step even knowing that I need it. Antonela insists and I know I need it but I’m someone who keeps it all in.”
Messi on the famous burofax.
“I wanted to formalize things, I wanted to make it official. I told the President so many times that I wanted to leave, but he just refused to listen to me.”
“Yes, I would send the burofax again. I’m eternally grateful and I love the club, Barcelona, and city. Everything the club gave me I deserved for what I did. I thought I needed a change, I completed a cycle.”
“My kids were saying they didn’t want to leave, but I felt like it was the best for me.”
Messi on Bartomeu’s decisions.
“Bartomeu didn’t let me leave and he tried to hurt me by leaking things about me. He tried to make me look like the bad guy in the movie.”
Messi on Suárez’s departure.
“It did seem crazy to me how things were done. He left for free, paying the remaining years of his contract and he joined a team that fight for the same objectives as us.”
Messi continues to talk about Bartomeu.
“Bartomeu has cheated on me so many times. I can not tell you the things that he promised me, but I can tell you that he lied to me many times over the course of many years.”
Lionel Messi on leaving for free last summer.
“I knew that if we went to court, we would have won. Not just one lawyer told me that, many did. But I didn’t want to leave in that way.”
Messi talks about Pep Guardiola.
“I don’t know when I last got a message from Pep, but we have spoken, yes. About how things are, how he’s doing at City, how things are going here. For me, he’s the best coach.”
Messi on Luis Enrique and Pep.
“Luis Enrique and Pep Guardiola are the best coaches for me. They taught me a lot.”
Messi on Koeman’s time at Barcelona so far.
“Koeman’s doing a good job. It is difficult because there are a lot of young players, but little by little we are growing.”
Messi on Tusquets.
“Tusquets said he would have sold me? It’s of no use talking about it, it’s in the past.”
Messi on if he decides in the dressing room.
“It’s already year since they’ve said that, even in the selection. That my friends played, I didn’t find it suitable. People believe it, as if decide who plays. It’s so far from reality.”
Messi on Barcelona’s elections.
“I don’t want to position myself with a Presidential candidate. I want someone who returns to club to where it belongs to win.”
Messi on staying if Xavi comes as a coach.
“Haha…I don’t know. Let’s see what happens in the elections and we will see afterwards. Let’s hope that we finish the season well and get a title.”
Messi talks about MSN.
“Yes, we talk from time to time. We have a group on WhatsApp. We maintain the relationship, almost every day.”
Messi on relationship with Griezmann.
“We share a healthy relationship, sometimes we drink mate together.”
Lionel Messi speaks on his future.
“I will not negotiate with other clubs. I will wait for the season to end and in June I will decide.”
“I always had the dream to live in America, and to play there.”
Messi talks about the Champions League draw against PSG.
“We didn’t believe it, we didn’t want to play against Paris because we are not at our best moment but we will have to respect ourselves for our history.”
Messi on the possibility of Neymar returning
“How do you pay PSG for the transfer? It is not easy. It will be a difficult situation for the new president.
He will have to be very intelligent, get everything in order and make many changes for it to go well.”
Messi speaks about his retirement.
“After my retirement, I want to continue living the rest of my life in Barcelona.”
“Leaving for Real Madrid or Atlético Madrid? No, impossible.”
“I still want to be related to this club and city even after I retire.”
“If I leave, I would like to leave in the best way and later return to contribute to the club. Barcelona is bigger than any player.”
Messi on Jordi Evole’s presents (Manchester and Paris travel guides).
Messi talks more about his future.
“I don’t see myself getting involved in football after I retire, not as a coach. Maybe a sporting director.”
“I hope we end this shitty year that we’ve all had well and that next year is better for everyone.”