Lionel Messi’s competitive mentality that made him a monster at Barcelona

Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona. (Photo by VI Images via Getty Images)
Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona. (Photo by VI Images via Getty Images) /

Former Barcelona forward, Andrea Orlandi, reveals how Lionel Messi turned into one of the best if not the best player in the world. The now-retired 36-year-old gave an interview with Goal and explained exactly how Messi transformed from a shy young boy into a six-time Ballon d’Or winner. Having Messi fit for the El Clasico is a huge advantage for the Catalans and with the form that he has been displaying, it will be hard for Real Madrid to keep him quiet.

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Orlandi who played for the Barcelona B side from 2005 to 2007, told the public how Messi’s personality changed from when he was on the pitch to when he was off the pitch. Apparently, the Argentine was a shy person when he was not on the pitch and he would hardly talk to anyone. Orlandi said,

"“He was a very shy person and Ronaldinho looked after him. I remember he would prepare a coffee for Ronny and not say a word but, on the pitch, he would transform into a monster.”Source Goal"

On the pitch, it was a completely different person according to the former Catalan. Messi was sharp, he was naturally talented and he had the desire to win and be the best. Along with that, the influence from Ronaldinho, Xavi Hernandez, Deco, and Samuel Eto also helped him a lot. Orlandi shared his memorable experience of playing against Messi in a training session one day. The Argentine had just recovered from injury but was still the best player on the pitch. Orlandi said,

"“My strongest memory was a training session where he came back from injury. [Coach Frank] Rijkaard organized a training game that mixed B players with first-team players. I was with Samuel Eto’o in my team and against Messi.”“He got the ball in midfield and ran past one, two, three, four and five. He went around the goalkeeper and scored. It looked so easy and he just got back from injury. Maybe we were lucky he was back from injury because if he was fully fit, he could do even more.”Source Goal"

Messi has proven time and time again that he is in fact the best player in the world. With the most number of Ballon d’Or as well as scoring regularly for Barcelona even at the age of 33, no one can challenge his legacy. He will have one of the most important matches of his career against Madrid on Saturday. It is a must-win match for the Catalans as if they do not win it, they can kiss their title hopes goodbye.

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Which is your favorite memory of Lionel Messi?