Lionel Messi 'more worried about being a good person' than being the best player in the world

 

Lionel Messi wants to be remembered as a good friend and colleague to his team mates rather than as the best player in the world, the unassuming Argentine said in an interview today.

The 25-year-old Barcelona forward has won three consecutive World Player of the Year awards, and is expected to be in the running for a fourth this year, after scoring an unprecedented 73 goals in all competitions last season.

"I prefer to win titles with the team ahead of individual awards or scoring more goals than anyone else," Messi told Spanish daily EL Pais.

"I am more worried about being a good person than being the best football player in the world. When all this is over, what are you left with?

"When I retire, I hope I am remembered for being a decent guy. I like to score goals but I also like to have friends among the people I have played with."

Messi is expecting the birth of his first child, a boy to be named Thiago, in the next month, but does not seem to have been distracted on the pitch.

He has netted 10 goals in all competitions so far, under Pep Guardiola's former assistant Tito Vilanova.

The relatively unknown Vilanova appears to have settled in to his new role quickly and the side top La Liga after a perfect six wins from six.

Vilanova has been helped by a prior knowledge of many of the players, including Messi, from his time spent working in the famed Barca youth academy 'La Masia'.

"I was pleased with the news that Tito was the replacement for Pep," Messi added. "I have known him since I was a lad.

"Tito was the first person who had faith in me, because at the time I was a substitute or didn't play, and he was the one who made me starter in that category (Under-16s).

"I know him well, he's open. He tells you things to your face without any type of problem, I like this."

Barcelona resume their great rivalry with champions Real Madrid on Sunday, when Jose Mourinho's team visit the Nou Camp in La Liga having already overcome the Catalans in the Spanish Super Cup back in August.

"It's the best feeling to beat Madrid because of the importance attached to it," Messi said of the 'Clasico' as he went on to detail the strengths of their eternal rivals.

"Madrid kill you on the counter-attack," he said. "They have extremely fast forwards, and the link-up between the defence and the attack lasts only five seconds and it is a goal. They don't need to play well to score three against you.

"I am lucky enough to know well (fellow Argentines) Gonzalo Higuain and Angel Di Maria. Higuain isn't in the game, touches the ball twice, and scores two goals. Madrid score goals out of nothing."

Reuters

Voices
On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
voicesIs a huge gamble on oil keeping the First Minister up at night?
Life and Style
techApple has just launched its latest mobile operating software – so what should you do first?
Arts and Entertainment
tv

Arts and Entertainment
Rosalind Buckland, the inspiration for Cider with Rosie died this week
booksBut what is it like to be the person who inspires a classic work of art?
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The former Doctor Who actor is to play a vicar is search of a wife
film

Matt Smith is set to join cast of Jane Austen classic - with a twist

News
A male driver reverses his Vauxhall Astra from a tow truck
newsThe 'extremely dangerous' attempt to avoid being impounded has been heavily criticised
Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Messi in action for Barcelona
filmWhat makes the little man tick?
Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: An undercooked end (spoiler alert)
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding
musicThe singer said 'the last thing I want to do is degrade'
Sport
Cesc Fabregas celebrates his first Chelsea goal
footballChelsea vs Schalke match report
Arts and Entertainment
Toby Jones (left) and Mackenzie Crook in BBC4’s new comedy The Detectorists
tvMackenzie Crook's 'Detectorists' makes hobby look 'dysfunctional'
Life and Style
fashion

Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas

News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week