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Lionel Messi: ‘I Was Born This Way Because God Chose Me’

Lionel Messi: 'I Was Born This Way Because God Chose Me'

Lionel Messi, currently competing with Argentina at the Copa América in the United States, shared insights about his football talent, attributing it to divine selection. In an interview with Argentine podcaster Juan Pablo Varsky, Messi, who recently turned 37, expressed his belief that he was “chosen by God.”

“It’s very clear to me that I was born like this because God chose me,” Messi said. “It was a gift he gave me. I tried to take advantage of it, I did everything possible to squeeze the most out of it. The truth is, although I did many things, I did nothing to become the player that I already was when I was little.”

Messi’s football journey began at Newell’s Old Boys before he joined Barcelona’s youth team at age 13. Reflecting on his early years, Messi admitted he wasn’t fully aware of his exceptional talent.

“From what was being said, I was always different,” he said. “People came to watch me. I didn’t realize it, but I began to understand that as I grew older. I don’t really know the moment when I realized it.”

Messi’s passion for soccer was evident from a young age. “When I was 3 or 4 years old, I was not aware of the World Cup and all the titles that were being played. I simply played because I loved the ball … it was my hobby. I spent all the time kicking [the ball] and looking for someone to play with. I was born with it. I loved soccer, like most Argentines, from a very young age. I always tried to have fun, like I did from day one.”

Messi is the most decorated footballer of all time, boasting eight Ballon d’Or awards and 44 trophies, including the 2023 Leagues Cup with Inter Miami. Despite his success, Messi emphasized the importance of learning from defeats. He recalled the pain of losing three consecutive finals with Argentina before their triumph in the 2021 Copa América.

“I don’t like to relive them or review them, but in the long run it helps and makes you grow,” Messi said. He highlighted the 2016 Copa América final loss to Chile as particularly painful, a defeat that temporarily led him to quit international football.

“We had had a very good Copa América in terms of play, reaching the final being far superior to the rest,” he said. “In the final against Chile, although we did not have many clear chances, we were also superior in terms of play and we lost again on penalties.”

As Argentina prepares to face Chile in their next Group A match, manager Lionel Scaloni emphasized focusing on the present rather than seeking revenge. “The important thing is that Leo is here. What happened in the past is behind us, now we are living a nice moment,” Scaloni said. “Messi is good. He has trained every day since the game, and is in the conditions to play against Chile tomorrow.”

Argentina started their title defense with a 2-0 win over Canada, and Messi remains a pivotal figure in their campaign.

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