FIFA World Player of the Year Lionel Messi



Soundbites in Spanish
Q. What are the differences between the way you play with Barcelona and the way you play with the Argentina national team? We play very differently. At Barça, we have been working for a long time; we do a type of football which you rarely see anywhere else. We have known each other for a long time, we train together every day. With the national team, we are building a team together, we are searching for our way of playing, we are searching for a team and we don't have something solid like at Barça, where we work at every day. Q. How would you describe Maradona as a manager? I think he is a manager who is very close to his players, he is like one of us and he gives a lot of confidence to all his players. Q. Do you feel like the new Maradona? No, not at all. I feel flattered but, as I have always said, there is only one Maradona, there is not going to be another one like him. I try to keep on growing, to keep on learning, but I know I am far away from that. I play my career without thinking of any comparisons with Diego. Q. Do you see yourself as a manager? I don't know, I've just turned 22. I hope, I think I have a long career ahead and I still haven't thought about what I'll do when I finish. I think about doing things in football, in winning many more titles and well, I am still a long way from retiring. Q. Is it very difficult to be a manager? Yes, it is very difficult to be a manager. Not only because you have to select a team but because you have to know how to manage a squad. A squad of 23 players who cannot always play so they are not always happy. There is always one who is upset or who thinks something is unfair. Well, it is very difficult for them to make decisions too. Q. What do you know about South Africa and what do you expect of the World Cup with your national team? The truth is that I know very little about South Africa, practically nothing. And I hope it is a great World Cup for us. I think we are getting ready in the best possible way. I think Argentina has many good players who are very eager; they are very illusioned about getting as far as possible. Q. How special is it for a footballer to be able to take part in a World Cup? Very special. It is the most important tournament that a player can play, because of what it means to defend your country's shirt, particularly in Argentina, where football is very important and it reaches many people. Because of all of this, football is very special. Q. Can an African team do well this World Cup? Yes, why not? Anything can happen in a World Cup. Already an African team has gone past the group stage and they went far. I think Ghana, Ivory Coast has great national teams and, well, they can go through very easily. Q. Argentina had problems qualifying for World Cup; will this make you more dangerous? I don't know. The truth is that we have come out stronger of the qualifying stage because it was very tough, very complicated for us. We lived through very difficult moments because of everything that was said, what people from the outside talked about. We know that the World Cup is going to be completely different. Because of this we are really eager.
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  • Annett Jahn
    Assistant - Global PR team
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