Barcelona star Lionel Messi has revealed that Frank Rijkaard, not Pep Guardiola, is the “most important” Coach of his career.
Despite achieving global stardom under Guardiola, Messi’s Barca career began when Rijkaard handed him his first-team debut in 2004, and the No 10 confessed he felt more indebted to the Dutchman for giving him his breakthrough.
“All the Coaches I’ve had have taught me things, but perhaps my most important was Rijkaard,” he told MBC.
“If he hadn’t trusted me or put me in the first team, perhaps I wouldn’t have got to where I am now.
“I’ve always said that, for me, he was a very important person. He trusted me and put me in the team at the right time.
“[On his HGH treatment], the truth is that I personally didn’t feel much treatment.
“I didn’t understand what was happening. I was very young and my family obviously did everything that they could.
“It wasn’t easy but it didn’t hurt me, it was routine. I knew that every night I had to apply my injection and I got used to it quickly.
“I had no trouble adopting a normal life, playing outside with my friends or going to school, so it wasn’t hard for me. I always followed the doctor’s advice.”