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The Season is Long And Sometimes Not Playing is Best, Admits Lionel Messi

Almost a decade and a half after the Argentine Lionel Messi made his debut for Barcelona at the age of 17 against Espanyol in the Catalan derby, the superstar admits that it’s indeed good to not play sometimes.

News18 Sports

Updated:December 7, 2017, 5:17 PM IST
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The Season is Long And Sometimes Not Playing is Best, Admits Lionel Messi
Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi sits on the bench during the UEFA Champions League football match FC Barcelona vs Sporting CP at the Camp Nou stadium. (Image: AFP)
Almost a decade and a half after the Argentine Lionel Messi made his debut for Barcelona at the age of 17 against Espanyol in the Catalan derby, the superstar admits that it’s indeed good to not play sometimes.

The 30 year old who was on the bench recently for Barcelona’s UEFA Champions League group stage ties against Juventus and Sporting CP, insists that he is content with the manager Ernesto Valverde’s decision.

"I have learned that the season is long, that there are times which are harder than others because the years fly by and now my body pays the price for playing in so many matches," Messi admitted in an interview to TyC Sports.

"I realised that sometimes not playing is for the best."

Messi who single-handedly took the Albiceleste over the line in the World Cup qualification process with a timely hat-trick against Ecuador of course has more than an eye on the tournament. The Argentine captain is keen on correcting the wrongs of 2014 when they faltered at the final hurdle against World Champions Germany.

"We went through a tough spell," he noted. "But it's true that we have to improve if we aspire to be world champions.”

"As we are today, we are not far from that although there are better teams than us such as Brazil, Germany, France and Spain."

"The criticism went beyond normal and went beyond football. People want results and, if they don't get results, they want new faces."

For a while there was speculation that Messi would eventually go back to Argentina to play for Newell's Old Boys, the club he started off at, in the home stretch of his illustrious career. But, the star forward indicated that there has been a change in plan as he is worried about the safety of his family.

"I don’t know if I will get to fulfill my dream of playing for Newell’s given the way the country is at the moment.”

“I have a family and my children come first, and then me. I want them to grow up in a calm place, being able to enjoy life with security. It is very ugly to see the things that happen in Argentina, that you can go out on the street and people want to rob you and that they can kill you," Messi noted.
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