Lionel Messi reveals how he was bullied by Barcelona teammates
In an absolutely magical video that popped up in the depths of the interwebs, we can see a young Messi giving an incredibly rare, incredibly candid interview in which he opens up about the troubles he encountered when he first stepped into La Masia as a thirteen-year-old.
In the clip above he talks about - and this would have been dismissed as a malicious rumour if it hadn't come from the mouth of the great man himself - how one ex-manager at La Masia asked Lionel Messi's teammates to kick him out of the game. LIONEL MESSI. KICKED OUT AT THIRTEEN? Can you imagine that?
"... you know the guys told me, the manager who was there used to tell them 'This guy comes from outside he can't stay here, we must kick the hell out of him' LOL. The guys told me that and I was laughing my ass off but the manager has never heard of that."
He went on to say that it was "all cool with that guy" and that he hadn't told him anything - even after the kind of success he engineered for himself in the senior team.
He also said that the thirteen-year-old teammates of his were "Really big hard guys and kinda mean also. Because they didn't give me any attention and they used to speak Catalan" (which he had, quite naturally, not learned yet) ".. and that kills you. You see I was in the dressing room and I couldn't understand a word, they used to speak Catalan..."
He goes on to say, though, that "it was just during the first few weeks, or months, that I didn't get along with the guys. Then once you meet them and they open themselves, it changes"
Soon, he learned the language well enough to understand it even if he couldn't yet speak it well - "Maybe at first they used to tell me anything and I couldn't quite catch it. Now I do understand everything. But I just don't speak it. I don't because... dunno, just for embarrassment. I think if I try.... I would do it"
He went on to describe how the players used to ignore him on and off the field due to his non-Catalan roots... "they used to kick me, or not pass me the ball in the training matches. Used to play pranks on me. Maybe you would make a mistake and they'd yell a lot." but the class of the Argentine comes through in the end "but that happens everywhere you know. When a new guy comes in..."
Quite incredible, these revelations, don't you think?