By now this kind of scene, as extraordinary as it was, must seem a bit mundane to the 35-year-old Messi, who is in the twilight of his spectacular career and ready to close the book on his days in the Argentine jersey. fully aware. that most soccer fans around the world, even allowing for his own patriotic desires, would like to see him do it with the World Cup trophy in his hands.
“Yes, it’s great that so many fans support us and that so many people are willing for us to win,” said the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner.
“I am very grateful for the love that I have felt throughout my entire career, in all the places that I have been. I have felt it so strongly, and it makes me very happy that there are so many people who want the same thing that I do.
“I am aware that this is a very special moment. It is, most likely, my last World Cup, the last chance to make my dream come true, our dream”.
The Messi No.10 shirt is ubiquitous everywhere, but especially here in the Middle East. The Arabs absolutely adore him, to the point where there will be genuinely conflicting loyalties when Argentina take on Saudi Arabia at Lusail Stadium on Tuesday – a Messi hat-trick and a Saudi Arabia win might not even be their ideal result.
That’s how it is when it comes to a famous athlete of this magnitude, every detail of his life is haunted. On Monday (local time), a screenshot of Messi’s swollen ankle went viral and was dissected by the media for any possible meaning.
Somewhat puzzled by the “rumours”, Messi confirmed that he was physically fit and ready to play.
It’s hard to ask a question at these events. They should be asked to go through one of several roving microphones. A moderator, sitting next to Messi and an Argentine official on stage, leads them around the room, gesturing and waving as if she were the conductor of the most pathetic orchestra in the world. Every time she surveyed the masses in front of her, almost all of her hands would go up, as if these journalists were children clamoring for a teacher’s attention. Sometimes she felt that way.
Messi said he was more reflective these days and admitted he was trying to come to terms with what was left of his time as a player, something he hasn’t always been good at. Perhaps the only thing in this football caper.
“I don’t know if it’s the best moment of my career, or the happiest moment, but I feel very good,” he said.
“Maybe I’m a little more mature. I’m trying to enjoy every moment. Maybe I didn’t think about that before… when you play every three days, you don’t have time to enjoy. Before it was just playing and thinking about the next game, keep playing and keep winning.
“I have missed many things in my career… age makes you see things differently. Now maybe I try to focus more on all the little details.”
With that, the moderator closed question time and announced that Argentina’s coach, Lionel Scaloni, would be next. Messi got up and they kicked him out of the room with a slap.
And then it emptied.
Watch all the matches UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League Y UEFA European Conference League at Stan Sport. It returns for the round of 16 in February 2023, with all matches broadcast ad-free, live and on-demand.