Lionel Messi rarely speaks publicly and when he does, let’s be honest, it is hardly groundbreaking stuff.
But this is very intriguing, and uncharacteristically animated from the Barcelona and Argentina superstar.
Speaking to Radio 94.7 Club Octubre in Argentina after the international break which saw Argentina lose 3-1 in Madrid to South American minnows Venezuela and then edge by Morocco 1-0, Messi didn’t hold back regarding the criticism he gets in his homeland.
“It makes me really mad, the stupid things they say. They say my father manages the national team… my friends and family suffer from the lies… the people buy it. Then I’m the son of a b****.”
Messi, 31, has already come back to play for Argentina after announcing his retirement in 2016 and has taken breaks from playing for La Albiceletse during his international career.
After moving to Barcelona as a teenager, Messi has been criticized by many back in Argentina for not replicating the form he shows for Barca when captaining the national team.
Messi revealed that despite being told not to return, he wants to achieve the one thing he hasn’t done in his career: led Argentina to a trophy.
“I want to win something with the national team, I’m going to play all the important things,” Messi said. “Many people told me not to return, family, friends … my son asked me why do they kill you in Argentina?”
Messi has scored 65 goals in 129 games for Argentina, but his situation regarding the national team has been complex throughout his career. The near miss at the 2014 World Cup was followed by heartache in back-to-back Copa Americas, and after crashing out in the last 16 of the 2018 World Cup to eventual winners France, many believed Messi would call it a day.
He returned to play for Argentina for the first time since the World Cup over the past week, but the same issues have cropped up for Messi. He says he will keep playing for Argentina, but with criticism in his homeland, should he bother?