It’s not everyday that Lionel Messi sits down to give extensive interviews. But the three-time FIFA Ballon d’Or World Player of the Year sat down with Sky Sports to discuss a range of topics: his desire to play for Barca for the remainder of his career, the significant role Guardiola has played in his rise and Barca’s success and on playing for a club which he thinks is the best side he has ever seen play. Excerpts from the interview after the jump.
“The truth is my idea has been to always stay in Barcelona and see out the rest of my career here. Like I always say, one doesn’t know what can happen in the future but if it were up to me to decide, I would stay at Barcelona for the rest of my career.”
“I didn’t see the other great teams that people say have existed throughout history. Mainly because of my age, I wasn’t old enough to have seen the great teams that we are compared with. From what I have seen I think it (the current Barca side) is the best, but I can’t really compare (older great teams) as I don’t know enough about the others.“
“Since Guardiola’s arrival, he has made the team play this way. When he arrived he made me play higher up, closer to the goal in order for me to score more goals which, until his arrival, I hadn’t done on a regular basis. He made us prepare better in training and for games, making it seem that every game was a final. He prepares everything with his vision when the games are played and everything he does shows he is the best coach in the world.“
Source: The Guardian, Sky Sports; Image credit: REUTERS/Albert Gea