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Sometimes I would like to go unnoticed”, Messi to France Football fans

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The Argentine star gave an interview to France Football after the magazine awarded him his seventh Ballon d’Or, and plenty of ground was covered.

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On Monday the world watched as Argentine superstar Lionel Messi was awarded his record seventh Ballon d’Or at the glitzy Parisen ceremony. France Football magazine is behind the award and on Saturday published an interview with the now-PSG player.

Messi on refusing Neymar’s ’10’

The importance of being humble: “I come from a working class family, my father worked all day and we lived in a rather modest neighbourhood. But we never lacked for anything, thank God. My parents instilled in me respect, especially for others, as well as hard work and humility. I grew up with these values. When I arrived in Barcelona at the age of 13, I found the same values at La Masia.”

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Rejecting Neymar’s off of the no. 10 shirt at PSG: “The ’10’ was for him. I came to a new team to help. It was an extraordinary gesture on his part, but I expected it because I know Neymar. We spent time together at Barcelona and we are friends. It seemed fairer to me that he kept the number ’10’. That’s why I took another one that I liked [30].”

Why he lay down behind the free kick wall in the 2-0 win over Man City: “At that moment it needed to be done. We were winning. Nobody else was there to do it and because I was, I just did it. To be honest there was nothing to it. We all need to contribute something to get results.”

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What he thinks about being considered the best in history: “I never said I’m the best in history nor do I try to push that perception myself. For me, being considered by others as one of the best in history is more than enough. It’s something I would never have imagined. It’s something that doesn’t interest me, it doesn’t change anything whether I’m considered the best or not. And I never wanted to be.”

Is it tough being Lionel Messi on a daily basis?

“I’ve been Messi for 34 years, so I’m starting to get used to it. I’m happy with everything that’s happened, although sometimes, I have to admit, I’d quite like to go unnoticed, to enjoy being with my family without people recognising me.

“I’m not complaining, though, on the contrary. It’s always nice to receive a compliment, a smile or someone asking for a photo with me.

“I’m used to it and for me it has become normal. So I’m very happy.”

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