Lionel Messi, the president of silences

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Almost without making statements, the Flea shapes with his gestures and attitudes the changes he seeks in the National Team and in Barcelona.

All the coaches who passed through the Argentine National Team know it: Lionel Messi He does not speak, but with the silences and actions he says many things. None of these technicians can assert that the “10” explicitly asked for this or that player, although all showed the smiles of the flea every time he got together with one of his friends, like Sergio Agüero, an issue that did not happen with other footballers farther from Rosario from the sentimental point of view.

This Messi who is already 33 years old is nothing like shy youth that appeared in Barcelona. But he always said more with silences than with words. The one who first understood it was Pep Guardiola, who knew how to give Alejandro Sabella advice when he took office in Argentina: “Never take it out. Always leave it on the court.”

The anecdote is known: Pep changed it in a game that was already defined Messi, serial competitor, the modification filled him with anger. The next day he did not go to training and he did not speak to her for several days to Catalan.

Messi was also distant when Barcelona did not grant him permission to go to play the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The culé cast was preseason in Italy and the Rosario trained with the face of few friends. They were days of few smiles.

Until Pep took control of the situation and enabled him to travel to China. “I ran from Italy to Barcelona to do the paperwork and travel that same night. It was unbearable. Now I am less so, because one changes as time passes. But it showed on my face. He was mad at life. I wanted to fuck off and let him know”, Messi would confess some time later.

In 2010, Guardiola tried to join Messi with Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but soon the Argentine felt threatened by the Swede, because they were playing in the same place on the pitch.

In reality, Messi no longer wanted to play lying down in the right sector and intended to move as a center forward, a position for which Ibrahimovic was hired.

Legend has it that flea, annoying after a bad game, he sent a text message to DT culé: “Well, I see that I am no longer important for the team, so …”. Zlatan’s journey in Catalonia barely lasted a season. Yes, Guardiola had understood the text message.

Closer in time were the episodes against coach Quique Setién and his assistant Eder Sarabia, and his fight with former president Josep Maria Bartomeu, including a burofax before the desire to leave because he did not see a project.

In Argentina, Messi always had to carry the backpack of the “Club of Friends”. Is repeated: Messi never asked in public or in private for a player. But with acts he made it clear who he felt most content with and with whom he didn’t.

The first episode of silent rebellion happened in 2006, when José Néstor Pekerman decided to leave him on the substitute bench in the quarter-final match against Germany. The image of Messi looking at the floor, absent, angry, traveled the world.

Lionel had a correct relationship with Alfio Basile, Diego Maradona and Sergio Batista. With Sabella, he consolidated himself as a leader and achieved a closeness from respect and admiration.

Gerardo Martino seemed to be a coach tailored to Messi, but the Tata He could not be at the height of him neither in Argentina nor in Barcelona. It always drew attention that Messi did not publicly endorse the Rosario coach.

“He Tata Martino, when he was at the Barsa, would tell Leo: ‘I know that if you call the president, he will kick me out. But you don’t have to prove it to me every day. I already know it’”, He confessed Andoni Zubizarreta, former sports director of the Catalan team, in a recent interview.

With Edgardo Bauza he had no empathy from football. And with Jorge Sampaoli everything ended in scandal in Russia 2018.

HS

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