Lionel Messi is loving his new life at Inter Miami and appears to have settled in well in the USA. After spending decades in Europe, he has now adapted to a major change after winning the FIFA World Cup with Argentina.
Messi has, rather predictably, already taken Inter Miami to new heights since his arrival. The club won their first trophy thanks to his heroics. They’re also beating opponents that used to embarrass them before he arrived. Of course, the acquisition of Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba has surely helped, but it’s Messi who has elevated the club to a whole new level.
Unfortunately, Messi picked up an injury recently during the September international break. His participation at the US Open Cup final up next is doubtful. As he tries to get back in action, Leo has now also given his first major interview since winning the World Cup title in December.
The 34-year-old sat down with famous Argentine comedian/journalist Miguel Granados on his YouTube channel OLGA. In the 36-minute interview, Leo was open to answering questions about everything that has transpired over 2023. This included his bitter departure from Paris Saint-Germain, adapting to life at Inter Miami and even personal questions.
Of course, the biggest spotlight was on how Messi actually felt about leaving PSG after his contract expired. The Argentine was clearly hurt by how the club and their fans treated him after the World Cup success. He said: “That’s how it happened. The truth is that it didn’t go the way I expected, but I always say that things happen for a reason and even though I wasn’t doing well there, it was my turn to be a world champion there.
“It was understandable (getting booed by fans). I was in the place where we had won the final and it was our fault that France hadn’t won the World Cup this time. I was the only player who didn’t get recognition, apart from my 25 other players, but that’s OK.”
Interestingly, Messi has no issues whatsoever with ex-teammate Kylian Mbappe. This is despite some fans accusing them of having a strained relationship. He cleared that out, saying: “My relationship with Mbappe? I was very good with Kylian, we had a very good relationship.”
Moving on, Messi also spoke about the possibility of winning the 8th Ballon d’Or in his career next month. He said: “The Ballon d’Or is a beautiful honor, but I was lucky to win everything in football: Champions Leagues, league titles, Copa America, World Cup and others. These are more important awards.”
Messi also opened up on his real feelings about playing for Inter Miami. He explained: “I’m happy here in Miami and it shows… At a certain point, here it is more relaxed. There are people who have followed me for a lifetime and already know me. It shows a lot when I’m happy on the pitch. The idea was to start decompressing a little. After so many years in a career, to take things differently, to enjoy it.”
Leo also gave a rather teasing answer on his international future. He had stated last year that the 2022 World Cup was his final one. When asked if he has any retirement plans in mind, he said: “I’m not thinking about the next World Cup yet, it’s far. About the upcoming Copa America, yes. It’s going to be nice. After that, we will see, depending how I am. The years have passed and we have to see how I feel, I’ll see it day by day.
“What am I going to do after I retire? I don’t think about it and I don’t want to think about it. I want to continue enjoying what I do.”
Interestingly, Messi was surprisingly open about his personal life and about his family in the interview. He spoke about the role of Antonella, his wife, in maintaining his family’s strength and said: “Is Anto a good mother? Yes, I admire her. She spends 24 hours with the kids. We are away a lot of the time: Travels, games, preseason, the national team.”
He also spoke about the possibility of having another child, saying: “We would love to have another child. We are not in the research phase but we would like the girl.” Leo also spoke about how he is as a father, adding: “I’m not one to use emojis on WhatsApp. None of my children have a cell phone yet. I don’t send as much audio, I prefer more messages.”
The Argentine captain was also asked about the tattoos on his left leg. He was questioned about potentially redoing his tattoos and answered: “Yes, but I more or less fixed it. But look the leg came out fine: a football, 10, Argentina, Barça.”
Messi is, quite clearly, very satisfied with his recent achievements and where he is at right now. He’s achieved everything there is to achieve in football. But it appears that his appetite to win more trophies is still definitely intact, which can be a terrorizing prospect for all his opponents.