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16.06.2010 14:20

Messi grateful for the support of Barca fans


Lionel Messi is hoping that a successful World Cup run for Argentina will enable him to win the same level of affection from his fellow countrymen as he enjoys here in his adopted homeland of Catalonia.

Speaking in an interview with TyC in South Africa, Messi insisted that a good World Cup for Argentina would go a long way to silencing the doubters after a poor qualifying phase. He revealed that he has undergone a change of mentality: “In the national team I wasn’t the same player but now I’ve changed and I’m very happy”.

Support from his team-mates

MESSI_2.jpgMany people in Argentina complained that Messi just didn’t turn in the same kind of performances with the national team as he did with FC Barcelona. Messi admitted that the criticism had hurt, but thanks to the support of his team-mates and national manager Diego Maradona, that was in the past. “I always had Diego’s support. In the national team I just wasn’t the same player as with Barca and I could tell. Now, thanks to the confidence given me by my team-mates I’m OK”.

“I was upset and hurt by the criticism. I’ve always accepted criticism of my football without any problem but things were said to hurt me and my family suffered”.

"I want to show what I am"

However, Messi is determined that a good performance in the World Cup will wipe out these bad memories and help show the Argentine fans just what he can do: “The qualifying stage is past and I’m starting from scratch in this World Cup. I want to show what I am and change this situation. I would love people to appreciate me as much in my country as they do in Barca. I have to keep showing what I can do in every match and thanks to God I started well against Nigeria. Although I didn’t score I played well. I’ll change this situation”.
Messi grateful for the support of Barca fans
The World Cup
Messi is adamant that Argentina will go flat out to win the third World Cup in the country’s history – and his first: “I’m part of the squad and we’re all working hard to lift the Cup. Winning the World Cup can’t be compared to anything else. Nobody can take away from me what I’ve already won, but becoming a world champion is different from everything else”.

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