Barcelona forward Lionel Messi says leading a peaceful lifestyle has been the key to his successful playing career.
In a candid interview with FourFourTwo on Wednesday, the Argentine revealed how maintaining a sense of tranquility throughout his daily endeavours had allowed him to realise his potential as a footballer.
“Some people argue that the way I play is innate, but I play by instinct,” he began.
“I always look to make the best move or decision and try to avoid what my opponent [expects me to do].
“When I feel the grass under my feet, I feel safe. I use the pressure to be a better player because it helps me to develop my game.
“Football’s just a game, which I happen to play naturally. I don’t yell or scream in the dressing room before a match.
“I prefer to be silent [and at peace with] my thoughts. I drive in the most cautious way possible. I use the gym for peace of mind and to think about things.
“We all arrive an hour before training. [During that time], I either drink mate [a herbal drink] with my colleagues or take a walk around the pitch.
“What I like most is being home with my family and watching TV, in addition to playing FIFA on the PlayStation. I’m the king when I play [FIFA] against my teammates!
“I don’t get an hour to go to sleep, but I like the sound of the TV. It helps me to relax and sleep better.
“The Barca fans are very friendly towards me. They ask for pictures and autographs, but I can go anywhere and not suffer any intrusion into my private life in Barcelona.
“[My son] Thiago is the most important thing in my life, the best thing that’s ever happened to me.
“My life changed radically [when he was born]. [My partner] Antonella tells me that when he sees me on TV, he recognises me and I like that.”