Lionel Messi Q&A Interview for Times Magazine

I love this Interview. He comes across as such a nice person. He talks about his life,Football, Argentina and Cristiano Ronaldo.

On how he judges his own success: I don’t know. Every time I start a year, I start with the objective of trying to achieve everything, without comparing it to how I’ve done in other seasons, to what I’ve accomplished before, or to what we’ve accomplished as a group. For me, what’s happened has happened, and I’m always looking toward what’s ahead. You don’t have time to stop and think about everything that happens, it all happens too quickly. When I retire, I’ll stop and think about that.

On how his skills have evolved: I can’t really say. Year after year, I’ve grown, improved. I was lucky to start very young and always have very good colleagues around me as I was coming up, and this has helped me and how I play. And with [Barcelona coach Pep] Guardiola, I learned to play tactically, which is what I most needed, what my game needed. From the tactical point of view, it’s been about knowing how to stop [to think] on the field when we don’t have the ball. And that makes us better when we have it.

On whether he’s had to sacrifice fun in the pursuit of excellence: I never thought that. I always thought I wanted to play professionally, and I always knew that to do that I’d have to make a lot of sacrifices. I made sacrifices by leaving Argentina, leaving my family to start a new life. I changed my friends, my people. Everything. But everything I did, I did for football, to achieve my dream. That’s why I didn’t go out partying, or a lot of other things.

On his low-key lifestyle: I’ve always been this way, ever since I was young. I’ve always really just liked football, and I’ve always devoted a lot of time to it. When I was a kid, my friends would call me to go out with them, but I would stay home because I had practice the next day. I like going out, but you have to know when you can and when you can’t. That’s why I say nothing’s changed since I was young. My friends would go out and I’d stay home. But not for nothing, because I knew it had to be that way, and at that moment, I was dedicated to football.

On his first experiences at Barcelona’s famous La Masía training school: It helped me a lot because I came [from Argentina] alone, and I was with all the guys in the Masía, I was one of them. We were all from someplace else, and we helped each other. The truth is that there were a lot of happy moments because we were there together for a lot of time, and the relationships between all of us got stronger and stronger. Lots of happy times.

On his preparations for the next World Cup, and what he learned from the last one: I’m preparing now like I would for any match, any important match whether it’s the World Cup or Champions League or the Copa del Rey. I play all games the same, as if they were all finals. Nothing changes in my preparations.

On whether playing for Argentina in the World Cup brought a different kind of pressure: No, we feel pressure with every match: not just me, but anyone who’s on a national team. What I can say that I learned [in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa] is that the most important thing is that the team be strong, that they be united. That’s what’s important in a tournament that is so short.

On whether his rivalry with Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo makes him a better player: I don’t think so. I never really fixated on him or compared myself with another player. My mentality is just to achieve more each year, to grow both as an individual and as a team, and if he wasn’t there, I’d be doing the same thing.

On what he thinks of Ronaldo: I think he’s a good person. I think he’s a good player, who brings a lot to Madrid, and who, in any moment, can decide a game.

On whether, when Ronaldo scores in a game, he feels pressure to do likewise: No. I care about how Madrid’s doing because they’re competing against us, and they’re in our League, and because almost every year, we compete for the title. But against Ronaldo, no.

On his competitiveness, and how he feels when he loses: I am competitive and I feel bad when we lose. You can see it in me when we’ve lost. I’m in a bad way. I don’t like to talk to anyone. I just retreat into myself and go over the game in my head: the things that went wrong, what I did wrong, why we didn’t win.

On how long he broods: Until the next game. Luckily we play a lot, so it happens quickly.

On how he feels when criticized by fellow Argentines for his performances with the national team: Yes, yes, it hurt, it bothered me. Because they said things that weren’t true — that I didn’t care as much about wearing the [Argentine] shirt. I didn’t feel that, I didn’t think that. And now, I think what people there understand that this is a team game, and that I try to play the same way there as I do in Barcelona, and always do the best I can.

On his strong identification with Argentina, despite having lived in Barcelona since age 12: I’ve never stopped being Argentine, and I’ve never wanted to. I feel very proud of being Argentine, even though I left there. I’ve been clear about this since I was very young, and I never wanted to change. Barcelona is my home because both the club and the people here have given me everything, but I won’t stop being Argentine.

On why he feels his countrymen are finally warming to him: You see it in the affection that people there have, for what they say on television. Before, there was a lot of criticism and everything was bad. And now it’s not like that. That’s good, because every country I go to, people have always received me very well, and in my own country that wasn’t happening.

On whether this adulation puts more pressure on him to score: No, I play the same as always. Whether it’s a friendly match, or for points, or a final, or any game — I play the same. I’m always trying to be my best, first for my team, for myself, for the fans, and to try and win.

On the qualities of his teammates that he admires: I haven’t changed my values, the values that I learned from my family. They’re the same ones I brought to Barça, to the club, that the guys in charge at La Masía teach to the kids: respect, humility, collegiality, respect one another no matter who he is.

On the World Cup 2014, and whether it will be his moment to silence his critics: I hope so. I hope it’s the moment for Argentina and that we can become champions. I’m going [to Brazil] because I want to be a champion and share the World Cup with my national team. But if it doesn’t turn out that way, I can’t do anything about it. And there’s still a lot of time. There’s still a lot of time to prepare and to improve.

 
 

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XAVI HERNANDEZ

Xavi Hernandez interview with catalan el sport God I love him even more now didn’t think that was possible. He is so down to earth and a great sense of humor oh ye and one of the best footballers of all time.

Q1-Where did you learn to play the way you do?

Quite simply,the joy of playing football is all about give and take.my game is dependent my teamates.Im no one if nobody passes the ball to me.without the lads my football makes no sense.But luckly for me I do play with the best and that’s how my game takes shape that’s how im the player I am.

Q2-Whats the most ridiculous thing said about you in the press?

Nothing that i take to heart,They once said that i was gay they said how Barca were getting with the times by seeking a gay football player!!! I lauged alot You can’t let things said in the press bother you because if you do you will drive yourself insane.

Q3-Where did you learn to play the football the way you do?

At  barca….They told me that if I wanted to play in midfield I wasnt allowed to lose the ball and since im a responsable bloke(laughs)I just learned how to keep it.

Q4-You weren’t the best as a youngster,though were you?

No there were some that came true the La Masia with me like Mario rosas(who now plays in the third division was the really talented one.He was the best of my generation along with ivan de pena..No i take back he was better than ivan.Mario is the best player ive ever seen play at youth level.He came up with us but he didn’t stay at Barca it’s not easy you know ive been lucky and when I think of him im more convinced of how lucky i am.Hes playing with castellon now and he’s made a living that way,but he ought to be here with us football isn’t easy that way.(ah that almost brought a tear to my eye)

Q5-In your case women complained about the pace of the life you lead?

My ex complained a lot about my profession because it would take up all my time.She didnt understand after a  match I would just want to go home and watch the match again on t.v instead of going out.Im a bit football crazy So I am unmarried and without any obligation’s ( It’s the best way to be Xavi haha)

Q6-Pep shouts at the team alot doesn’t he?

No he’s never yelled at me really well (laughs)during matches he shouts a lot at me because his warning me to say that im out of position he is just being a good coach.Pep and I see football through the same eyes.were on the same wavelength so it’s all good.

Q7-Are you superstitious?

Not really well i usually use the same boots if ive scored a goal with them,im a little superstitious that way other than that nothing too weird.

Q8-Whos your biggest footballing hero?

Well when i was younger there was Maradona,then Schuster and then the one who really made an impact on me was pep.

Q9-What is your life motto?

You never know what will happen.so live and let live try not to take life for granted and stay humble.(well said xavi)

Barca round up news

Ok where do I start

Barca will begin their first match of the season in Santander when they visit the el sardinero to play racing on august the 28th or 29th it hasn’t been set yet.The one were all waiting for Barca vs real Madrid pep and his boys will face los blanco on the 28th november at the nou camp and then travel to Madrid on the 17th of april in the bernabeu.

So Barca have already started pre season training with some players the ones not back from holidays wish they would hurry up and come back.But that wont happen Because Pique is partying in Pacha.

Bobo (ah i missed him all summer and ibra dont they look good in pink…..

Milto and new signing Adriano these two seem to be bff already.

So now its time to hear from senor pep.Heres a few questions he was asked in his press conference today.

Speaking of Madrid and their new coach Jose mourinho. Pep laughed and said that his portuguese counterpart as”one of the best coaches in the world”(We all know who he thinks is numero uno don’t we)God I cant wait for these two this season and there sideline antics because I say its going to be very funny.

Asked whether villa’s arrival would he make playing time for bojan:He played down the possibility”I have not been able to talk to him yet,but i am ecstatic that he has chosen to continue here.I hope to give him the minutes he deserves.(He better I don’t want to see my little bojan becoming a bench warmer)

When he was asked about Andres iniesta world cup winning goal.Guardiola said the fact that the goal of the world cup came to a person as humble and nice as him is something fantastic(couldn’t agree more with ye pep)

On the Possible incorporation of cesc.Pep acknowledged the difficulty of bringing the young midfielder to the nou camp but hopes the gunners will part with him(Cant see that happening anytime soon)