Lionel Messi is grateful to everything he’s been given by Barcelona but confirms he’d like to return to Argentina in the future.
Messi has spoken to Sports Illustrated about his childhood, his Barca career and his future, confirming he sees leaving Camp Nou for his homeland one day.
“I always had a ball with me, from the time I got up to when I went to sleep. I remember when I was little, having such a great time on the pitch. Playing on those fields, where my brothers, my whole family, played. That’s when I was five or six. The days I got to go there were special,” he recalled.
“I came to [Barca] with the dream, and the goal, of making the first team. It was my objective. Every day I trained and dedicated myself to playing. I practically thought about only that and nothing else.
“It was a complicated time. On one hand it was nice, because to come and play at Barcelona was something spectacular. On the other hand it was difficult because I left everything behind. I left my friends, part of my family, my childhood. Arriving in a country where I had nothing, starting practically from zero, was very difficult.”
Messi eventually progressed to become recognised as the world’s best player, and discussed what it meant to him to reach such a level.
“It was a joyous moment [to win the Ballon d’Or the first time]. It was special, because it is such an important award. For them to say you’re the best in the world and to give you that award is unexplainable,” he admitted.
“While I always say I don’t value individual awards as much, it is a very important acknowledgement and first rate for what it means. It was a beautiful moment. Everyone wants to beat you, everyone makes it harder on you. Each year it’s more complicated.”
Messi concluded by revealing his appreciation for what he has experienced in Catalonia, but confirmed a desire to return to Argentina.
“I grew up here, I made myself here. My life is in Barcelona. Barca gave me everything. One day I’d like to go to Argentina because I left my country at such a young age. I couldn’t enjoy Rosario, my city and my people, that much,” he admitted.