Lionel Messi has described playing in El Clasico against Real Madrid as an ‘amazing’ experience.
The Argentine spoke extensively in an interview with Four Four Two magazine and commented on what it is like to play against Barcelona’s eternal rivals, in what is arguably the biggest club fixture in world football.
“The Clasico is amazing to play in and it’s a fixture I’ve been very lucky to have scored a lot of goals in,” admitted Messi.
“It’s obviously a special game and it’s important because of what it means to everyone involved, from the players to the fans. It’s an event that goes all around the world.
“As a player, though, you have to treat it like any other game. Like any derby, there’s something extra to it.
“I think on the international stage Brazil vs Argentina is similar. Both matches involve big teams with great rivalry, the main difference being it’s all about the countries, while Barcelona isn’t just about the city but fans from afar who have feelings for the club.”
Messi went on to talk about the pressures of playing top-class football and the way in which he deals with it
“Pressure in football is an interesting topic. On a personal level I try to help myself as best I can.
“I’m always looking to remain as calm and relaxed as possible when I go out onto the pitch. When I feel the grass beneath my feet I feel assured, because playing football is what I enjoy most.
“Is the pressure a blessing or a curse? I don’t know. I try to use it in every game to help me. Pressure helps me do things to the best of my ability. I like it.
“I don’t feel pressure, just the opposite, because I always enjoy what I’m doing – and that’s playing football,” he declared.