Ego. Paris Saint-Germain's biggest opponent. They had spectacular football players in previous seasons (Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Edinson Cavani), so they did not win the Champions League. Maybe because of the vanity of individuals.
This summer, the real winners arrived, in the form of Sergio Ramos, Gianluigi Donnarumma, Gigi Wijnaldum, Acshaf Hakimi and, of course, the greatest of all - Lionel Messi. Just as he plays football better than the ones listed, he knows how to hit the center with words on rare occasions.
In a great interview for France Football, the first since he arrived in Paris, he explains that building team spirit is a key sequence in the effort for the Saints to finally achieve the most valuable continental club cup.
They have everything else. Togetherness do not. They must get rid of vanity. And the very small Argentine points to that, with the fact that the 40-minute conversation with the journalists of the reputable magazine begins with a look back at the parting with Barcelona.
After 16 years. "Honestly, I did not expect this to happen. I returned to Barcelona to prepare for this season, as I took advantage of the days off that Koeman gave me." "The idea was to sign a contract and immediately make myself available to the coach.
I thought that everything had been agreed, that only my signature was missing, however, when I arrived, they told me that it was not possible to extend the cooperation. That changed the plans, "Messi points out. It should be noted that the interview was done in early September and that only yesterday Barcelona President Joan Laporta said that he hoped until the last minute that Leo would play for free this season !? So the following words of Messi should not be interpreted as a replica of the first man of the Catalans.
"It was extremely difficult for me to accept the circumstances. I couldn't come to terms with the fact that I was leaving home, that my family would have to change their daily routines, the children would have to go to school, and we would all have to get used to another place."
"For the first time in my career, something like this happened to me. It was even harder due to the fact that I had previously decided to end my career in Barcelona. A lot of things went through my head, I had no choice but to leave.
" Barça could not even turn the situation in their favor, due to financial constraints. "In the announcement, they stated that the extension of the contract is not possible. They called me and told me to find another club because Barça did not have enough funds to renew the contract."
"From that moment on, I began to consider what to do next. I had to find a new environment to continue my career, fortunately, several of them contacted me, including PSG, who treated me well from the beginning."
"They just showed that they want me, that they are ready to take care of me. I am grateful to the club that I am happy today. They convinced me that I was part of the project, and the quality of the playing staff, individuals, and groups convinced me.
All these elements led to an agreement. "
One of the key items was the friendship with Neymar, Di Maria, and Paredes ... "I arrived at another club during my career and of course it was a little harder in the beginning, however, it helped that I have good friends in Paris.
Mbappe? When I arrived, I did not give him a lot of advice, because I barely knew him." "In the end, he stayed, which is good news. We get along well because he speaks Spanish perfectly. " Candidates for the highest individual recognition in the world of football have been known since Friday.
Do you consider yourself a favorite for the Golden Ball? "No. I don't feel that way and I never liked to talk about myself, until the results are known. If it happens, it would be great to win the prize once again."
"It was beautiful that I finally won the cup with the national team last summer. Of course, I would feel very lucky if I won the Golden Ball again." "It is extraordinary that I have six of them and that I am the only football player in the world with so many awards.
Seventh would be an incredible achievement. " If only you voted, who would end up on the podium? "Every time they ask me that, I'm afraid I'll leave someone out ... I would say that Neymar and Mbappe are the first candidates, although Benzema and Lewandowski had great seasons."
"You can do a lot on an individual level, although in the end it counts whether you have won the Champions League, the European Championship or the Copa America with a club or a national team. "