A copy of the first ever interview given by Lionel Messi some 22 years ago has emerged online.
Messi, now 35, is set to take to the pitch in his first ever World Cup final when Argentina face France in Qatar on Sunday. The game is undoubtedly another defining moment in the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner’s career, where he has carved out a legacy as perhaps the greatest footballer ever.
While many are tipping Sunday’s mammoth clash – and Messi’s last World Cup appearance – to be the moment that could confirm him as the greatest of all time, his extraordinary exploits over a senior career that began in 2004 speak for themselves, regardless of whether he wins the tournament.
Messi shot to prominence with Barcelona, breaking into their first team in 2004 after moving over from Argentina in 2000. Long before the years and years of immortal showings for La Blaugrana, though, a teenage Messi gave an interview while still with Argentine outfit Newell’s Old Boys.
A copy of what is believed to be his first ever interview, given to local newspaper Diario La Captial aged 13 in 2000, has surfaced. They provided a profile of Barcelona-bound Messi, before asking him a range of questions.
The profile reads: “Lionel Messi is a player in the 10th division and the attacking playmaker for the team.
“He’s not only one of the up and coming players in Newell’s academy but has a huge future ahead of him, because, despite his height, he manages to go past one, two, dribble, score goals, but above all he enjoys himself with the ball and as of today he’s being revealed to the world.”
In the interview section, he was asked questions on a number of topics and gave the following answers. He named his father and his godfather as his heroes, named his brother and his cousin as his favourite players, credited all of his coaches to that point for learning ‘something from all of them’.
13-year-old Messi named handball when asked about another sport away from football, claimed he hoped to play in the first division with Newell’s Old Boys and that his dream was to play for Argentina. He went further in displaying his love for Newell’s, claiming they meant ‘absolutely everything’ to him.