The Finalissima between Argentina and Italy will be played at Wembley this Wednesday and the albiceleste captain gave TyC Sports a hand-in-hand note.
Here are the most important excerpts:
“The best team doesn’t always win. Real Madrid, without detracting from them, much less because they are the champions of the Champions League and are always there, they weren’t the best team in this Champions League and yet they beat them all”.
“I want to win it again and it bothered me not being able to be there. But it also makes me see that the best team does not always win the Champions League, that the Champions League are situations, they are specific moments, they are psychological moments that grab a team, where the slightest mistake leaves you out and the one who is most prepared for those situations ends up winning it or reaching the final”,
“I know what Real Madrid is, I’ve lived it for many years, all my life, up close. And I knew that this could happen, because they score a goal out of nowhere and automatically change the game. I also knew that in that field the first 15, 20 minutes come upon you. And if you pass that later, the game changes. But if a strange play or a goal happens, it changes again and I already knew that it could happen and it happened to us and to all of us the teams you mention (Chelsea, City and Liverpool) and it’s not the first time it’s happened”
The Selection and the Finalissima
“It is an official competition, which is endorsed by FIFA, one more cup for us and we want to win it and for this group to add one more cup for the personal, the group and for the people of Argentina as well”.
“It’s a nice test for us too. She is the European champion, if she had been in the World Cup she would have been the favourite. She was unlucky enough to be left out but she could have qualified earlier in the group, when she had the opportunity to win the match before go to the playoffs and couldn’t do it and later, due to football issues, he was left without the World Cup”.
“Surely it would have been one of the candidates: if Italy was in the draw, none would have wanted to cross paths with Italy, so it is a nice test for us, to continue growing, continue improving and continue reaching the goal in the best way, which is the first match of the World Cup.
“The truth is that it is crazy that they have won the European Championship and are not in the World Cup. That Italy is not in another World Cup, with what that means and what Italy is in the entire history of World Cups, it is a pity. Now I also have colleagues and friends in the team, two great people with whom I had a very good relationship, who have helped me a lot since I’ve been there. Especially Verratti and I feel much more sorry”.
The tribute to Diego and the Newell’s shirt
“I’m going to tell you something about the celebration that I didn’t tell,” Messi began. And he referred to the night before, that of Saturday, November 28, 2020. “I was lying in bed with Antonela and I told her: ‘I have to do something for Diego, I have to do something…’. And I have the part of the museum, with the trophies, t-shirts… And I’m going to see what’s there: I went to look for a National Team t-shirt or something. I went upstairs and there’s a little door that’s always closed, where we put things. It was just open. There was a chair and upstairs was number 10 of that Newell’s T-shirt. I went in and saw it. That door is always closed and I don’t really know what (the T-shirt) was doing there, nor did I remember I had it on. And I saw it like this and I said: ‘That’s it.’ It was amazing.”
“I hadn’t been scoring many goals at that time and it wasn’t that I scored goals every game and I was sure. It happened that we were going two or three to nil and the goal wasn’t given. And then out of nowhere that move appeared. I waited for the moment to be left alone to show it”.
The World Cup Group
“We know from experience that there are no easy rivals. And it happened to us last World Cup, when we also celebrated the group and in the end we ended up getting complicated”.
“The first game is always different, regardless of the rival, in this case Arabia, because of the nerves. For many of these boys it will be the first World Cup they play, and whether you like it or not they feel the obligation to win, because winning The first game is key to everything that comes after because of what it gives you. But the truth is that this group is very excited, very eager and I think we are preparing well for when that moment comes”.
“Mexico is a National Team that has always cost us, that plays very well. Although we were generally lucky and were able to pass or win, they play very well. They have a very clear idea, with a coach who knows what Argentina is, and they know us very well. U.S”.
“Surely it’s going to be a difficult group and Poland is no exception. It’s going to be tough throughout the World Cup, but obviously a priori, because of the names, I always preferred that the teams with fewer names play later”.
The withdrawal of the Selection
“The other time I said that after the World Cup I had to rethink many things and I don’t know. The truth is that I think about this and then I will see. Many things can happen between now and 2026, football is very changeable. And honestly, it seems very difficult to me , but I don’t have anything clear. Nor did I ever imagine that I would end up playing somewhere other than Barcelona and from one day to the next I had to leave”.
Kylian Mbappé and the South American Qualifier
“I didn’t see how he said it, or what he said. But many times we talked about it with the boys from Spain, when we came back from a Qualifiers and we told them “you know how difficult it would be for you to qualify for the World Cup if you had to go to play there: Colombia, the altitude, the heat, Venezuela… They all have a different condition that makes it much more difficult and apart from that they are great teams, with great players”.
“They always play on perfect, wet courts, and they don’t know what it’s like to play and travel in South America. Football is more even every day, whatever the rival, and the Argentine National Team is ready to play against any European”.
“It was something I never imagined. Everything that happened after the Copa América, the joy I had after having a bad time, losing finals. Happiness was complete and everything that happened happened in the middle”.
“It’s always a joy to come here, we said the same thing a while ago and I think you see it on TV and on social networks.”
His year at PSG
“I had everything in Barcelona. I left when I was very young. What’s more: I lived more in Barcelona than in Argentina. The truth is that I had no plans to change anything. Luckily, the children’s adaptation was spectacular. For Antonela and me it was more difficult”.
“Luckily, the children’s adaptation was spectacular. We always had that fear, that the children would have a hard time with the change. And it was the opposite. It was very easy, they adapted very quickly to school, to friends, day by day. For Antonela and me it was more difficult. I remember that the first day we took them to school was terrible. We both left crying. Saying what we are doing here, what happened. We didn’t understand anything. But they really some phenomena all three”
“I also had to get used to a way of playing because I was used to playing my whole life in one way and arriving at a place where it’s not the same, you play differently, you see football differently, with new teammates… I in Barcelona had teammates who had been playing alongside them for many years and they knew me by heart. This was all new for me. On top of that, I started the league late because I arrived late at the club, then I had a knock on my knee that stopped me for a while and between one thing and another it didn’t finish starting. I couldn’t do three or four games in a row”,
“The Real Madrid thing killed us. To me, to the entire dressing room in general, to all of Paris, because we had a barbaric illusion in that competition
“The situation of the people and the anger at the players we had is understandable. Afterwards, if I agree or not about the whistles to me and to Ney in particular, that we were the most pointed out… But hey, it happened”
“COVID hit me very hard. I was like a month and a half without being able to even run. Symptoms very similar to those of the majority I suppose. A lot of cough, sore throat, fever. But it left me with sequelae. It left me with many sequelae in the lungs. I couldn’t train”
“Not scaring me, but hey, they tell you so many things that they wouldn’t let me start. I even started earlier than I should have started and that was worse. Because I accelerated later it ended up hurting me but I couldn’t take it anymore. I wanted to go running, to training, and I wanted to start. And in the end it was worse”.
“Thinking about me, individually and what happened this year, I think about being able to reverse the situation, about not having the feeling of having changed clubs and that it didn’t go well for me. And as you said, I know that this year is going to be different, I’m already prepared for what’s to come, I know the club, I know the city, I’m a little more comfortable with the dressing room, with my teammates and I know it’s going to be different”.
“The truth is that we were not really aware of what happened to Kun Agüero. At least I saw him from afar and I did not understand the situation until I was able to talk to him and I really saw that it could have been much worse”,
“Obviously he will have suffered and cried alone or with his family, but luckily he quickly found another way and he’s fine, he looks good, he enjoys what he does, he does it without caring about anything because he doesn’t care about anything and says what he wants. He thinks. Having been through that situation I guess he made it that way too and well, luckily he looks good.”
“I miss him in everything. I especially concentrated with him, I was next to him all day, we got up together, we went to sleep together, and the truth is, yes, he misses him. Personally, a lot, but I think the group as well. Although he was already another Kun and he was calmer, he always made himself known”.
“I think there are no doubts, it is very clear that Benzema had a spectacular year and ended up consecrating himself with the Champions League, being essential from the last 16 onwards in all the games. I think there are no doubts this year”.
“Everyone says what they want and obviously he can express himself and say what he wants. I honestly don’t share what Lewandowski said but I didn’t give it much importance either. That’s it, it was there and he can say what he wants and I’m not interested.”