In the world of football, legends are born, records are shattered, and greatness is measured in moments of pure genius. Among these legends, one name arguably stands head and shoulders above the rest, with a highlights reel and statistics unmatched by anyone in the history of the sport. Lionel Messi, a name that reverberates across the globe like a cherished hymn, has redefined the very essence of what it means to be a football player.
From the streets of Rosario, Argentina, where his love affair with the round leather ball began, to the iconic stages of Camp Nou and Paris Saint-Germain, Messi's ascent to legendary status has been nothing short of remarkable. His unparalleled combination of skill, speed, and a razor-sharp footballing mind has seen him rewrite records and break barriers with breathtaking ease.
He's a magician on the field, capable of turning ordinary matches into extraordinary spectacles. Yet, what truly distinguishes Messi isn't just his athletic prowess but also his indomitable spirit, a spirit that embodies the essence of inspiration and motivation.
This article delves into the words of Lionel Messi, the wisdom that emerges from a career marked by resilience, passion, and unwavering commitment to his craft. Through his quotes, we glimpse not only the mind of the greatest football player ever but also the heart of a man whose journey inspires countless individuals to chase their dreams, conquer their doubts, and, above all, never stop believing in the power of determination.
"In football as in watchmaking, talent and elegance mean nothing without rigour and precision"
"You have to keep working hard and playing well because people will start to forget what you have done before if you don’t"
"When you lose, you get up, you make mistakes and you learn. And then you become a better player"
"The day you think there is no improvement to be made, is a sad one"
"I’m never satisfied. I always push my limits and try to get better every day"
"Every year I try to grow as a player and not get stuck in a rut. I try to improve my game in every way possible. But that trait is not something I've worked on, it's part of me"
"You cannot allow your desire to be a winner to be diminished by achieving success before and I believe there is room for improvement in every sportsman"
"I always try to improve and score more goals. I want to be the best."
"I always want more. Whether it’s a goal, or winning a game, I always want to improve."
"My ambition is always to get better and better"
"For my part, I try to do my bit to make people's lives more bearable, in particular children across the globe who are having problems"
"There’s nothing more satisfying than seeing a happy and smiling child. I always help in any way I can, even if it’s just by signing an autograph. A child’s smile is worth more than all the money in the world"
"Sometimes you have to accept you can't win all the time"
"I never think about the play or visualize anything. I do what comes to me at that moment. Instinct. It has always been that way"
"There are more important things in life than winning or losing a game"
"The best decisions aren’t made with your mind, but with your instinct"
“Allow yourselves to dream and then chase after those dreams. That will always require effort and sacrifice, but be persistent!”
"Money is not a motivating factor. Money doesn't thrill me or make me play better because there are benefits to being wealthy. I'm just happy with a ball at my feet. My motivation comes from playing the game I love. If I wasn't paid to be a professional footballer I would willingly play for nothing."
"I always thought I wanted to play professionally, and I always knew that to do that I’d have to make a lot of sacrifices."
"I made sacrifices by leaving Argentina, leaving my family to start a new life. I changed my friends, my people."
"Everything. But everything I did, I did for football, to achieve my dream"
"You have to fight to reach your dream. You have to sacrifice and work hard for it"
"What I do is play soccer, which is what I like"
"I have fun like a child in the street. When the day comes when I'm not enjoying it, I will leave football"
"You can overcome anything, if and only if you love something enough"
"I've always really just liked football, and I've always devoted a lot of time to it. When I was a kid, my friends would call me to go out with them, but I would stay home because I had practice the next day"
"I start early, and I stay late, day after day, year after year, it took me 17 years and 114 days to become an overnight success"
"I always thought that if you want to be the best, you have to work harder than everyone else"
"I prefer to win titles with the team ahead of individual awards or scoring more goals than anyone else. I'm more worried about being a good person than being the best football player in the world. When all this is over, what are you left with? When I retire, I hope I am remembered for being a decent guy"
"When the year starts the objective is to win it all with the team, personal records are secondary"
"I'm lucky to be part of a team who help to make me look good, and they deserve as much of the credit for my success as I do for the hard work we have all put in on the training ground"
"I never think about the individual awards. The most important thing is the team and winning trophies"
"There is nothing more satisfying than when you are on the field and you score a goal and help your team win. It doesn’t matter if I am not playing well, as long as we are winning"
“I achieved my dream and the whole country's and it was the best thing that has happened to me and to everybody as a country after waiting for so long. So I would like to share this Award with all of Argentina.” (On getting the Laureus Sportsman of the Year award)
"Whether it’s a friendly match, or for points, or a final, or any game – I play the same. I’m always trying to be my best, first for my team, for myself, for the fans, and to try and win"
"I never think about the record. I only think about winning the match"
"I want to concentrate on winning things with Barcelona and Argentina. Then if people want to say nice things about me when I have retired, great. Right now, I need to concentrate on being part of a team - not just on me"
"Being named among the best at something is special and beautiful. But if there are no titles, nothing is won"
"Although he may not be human, it’s good that Messi still thinks he is." - Javier Mascherano
"I have never seen anyone like Leo Messi. He is a miracle from God! I like it when he does his things on the field. It's not jealousy - I feel good, for instance, when he nutmegs someone." - Arda Turan
"It feels good to be in the same generation as him. I believe he’s the best player in the history of the sport." - Gerard Pique
"It is clear that Messi is on a level above all others. Those who do not see that are blind." - Xavi
"Messi does not need his right foot. He only uses the left and he’s still the best in the world. Imagine if he also used his right foot, Then we would have serious problems." - Zlatan Ibrahimovic
"Messi is God, as a person and even more as a player. I knew him when he was a boy and I’ve watched him grow. He deserves it all." - Samuel Eto'o
"This Barca will be remembered as Messi’s Barca. He’s well above anything else I’ve ever seen. He’s an alien." - Carles Puyol
"We give him the ball and stand back and watch. People often say to me they saw Pele and Maradona play. In the future, I will be able to say I saw Messi play." - Thiago Alcantara
“Every time he plays, Leo Messi reminds me more of Maradona, both left-footed and short, Messi is the best player in the world.. For us it is not a surprise. Since he began to come and train with us and we knew we would go down this path. Someday I will explain that I was at the birth of one of the footballing greats: Leo Messi.” - Ronaldinho
“Messi does incredible things, his stats make you cover your eyes. He cannot be compared to anyone.” David Villa
“Messi’s control is the best I have ever seen, it is truly breathtaking.” - Eidur Gudjohnsen
“What Leo does is so incredible that I have to be careful not to stand still watching him make his moves.” - Thierry Henry
He didn't get the respect he deserved here in France. We're talking about potentially the best player in the history of Football" - Kylian Mbappe
"For me, to watch Messi play is a pleasure – it’s like having an orgasm – it’s an incredible pleasure." - Luis Figo
"He is always going forwards. He never passes the ball backwards or sideways. He has only one idea, to run towards the goal. So as a soccer fan, just enjoy the show." - Zinedine Zidane
"The other day I saw one of his games. He was running with the ball at a hundred per cent full speed, I don’t know how many touches he took, maybe five or six, but the ball was glued to his foot. It’s practically impossible." - Raul
“For me, Messi is the best player in history” - Ivan Helguera
“The other day I saw one of his games. He was running with the ball at a hundred percent full speed, I don’t know how many touches he took, maybe five or six, but the ball was glued to his foot. It’s practically impossible!” Raul
“There is no doubt that Messi is the best player in the world.” - Ronald (R9)
“What’s really incredible is his consistency. It’s practically inhuman to keep going like him. What Messi has achieved, far outweighs what Cristiano has done.” - Santiago Solari
There was suffering for several years playing against Messi. I am now enjoying him. He is the best player football has ever produced" - Sergio Ramos
"In my entire life I have never seen a player of such quality and personality at such a young age, particularly wearing the ‘heavy’ shirt of one of the world’s great clubs... Before a game, you can plan for everything. But Messi can produce a move that no-one expects and change the game in an instant." - Fabio Capello
“Casillas saying he wouldn’t sign Messi for Madrid? Messi has a place in every team in the world.” Ancelotti
“Messi or Ronaldo? I prefer Messi because he is more of a street player.” - Vicente Del Bosque
“The best way to stop Messi is when you play with 11 men and then you can double mark him, one player to stay on him and the other to help out. If it is 11 against 10 then you have almost no chance of stopping him.” - Jose Mourinho
"I wear the number 10 Jersey for the US National Team in honour of the Greatest athlete I have ever seen: Messi." - Kobe Bryant
Messi or Cristiano – Speed? Cristiano. Shot? Cristiano. Dribbling? Messi. Intelligence? Messi. Talent? Messi. Winner is Messi!” - Usain Bolt
"Diego [Maradona] filled us with emotions. But between the cracks, without doubt, Messi is better than Maradona." - Diego Simeone
"Messi is the Mozart of soccer." - Radomir Antic
"The only bad thing about Ronaldo’s life is Messi. If it was not for him, Ronaldo would be the best player in the world for five years in a row." - Felipe Scolari
"Who is the Best Player in the World? Leo Messi. Who is the Best Player Ever? Leo Messi." - Arsene Wenger
“Critics have always questioned whether players like Pele from the 50s could play today. Lionel Messi could play in the 1950s and the present day, as could Di Stefano, Pele, Maradona, Cruyff because they are all great players. Lionel Messi without question fits into that category.” - Alex Ferguson
“I prefer the way that Messi plays. He creates for his teammates, Cristiano needs his teammates to create.” van Gaal
“Lionel Messi is the most amazing player I have ever seen.” - Harry Redknapp
“Messi is the Best. There must be life out there somewhere, on some other planet. Because he is too good and we are just too bad for him.” - Jurgen Klopp
"He sees passes that most people can only see whilst watching the game on TV, not ones that you can normally see on the pitch." - Tata Martino
"Messi is the best in the world without any doubt and for me the history of soccer." - Luis Enrique
“There should be two #BallondOr awards, one for Messi and one for the rest.” Jorge Sampaoli
“For me, I’ve said many times, he’s the best. It’s difficult to understand that a player can appear and compete what he has done in the last 50 or 70 years." - Pep Guardiola
"I was in a team that tried to stop him a couple of times and it didn't come off. Other than GBH, I don't know" Rio Ferdinand
"Is Messi a real player or a PlayStation character?" - Radamel Falcao
"Messi is class. There is him, and then there is the rest. What he does is extraordinary." - Franck Ribery
"When did I realise it was time to retire? — Probably when Messi was running past me in that home game [laughs]." David Beckham
"Who’s better, Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo? Messi. Ronaldo is good, but Messi is 10 times better." - Klaas-Jan Huntelaar
“I am not ashamed to admit that in the games against Barcelona I spent a lot of the time just hoping he would take up positions as far away from me as possible. Elusive is the word that immediately springs to mind when I think about Messi’s style of play. You think you have an eye on him and then – blink – he has gone, only to reappear somewhere else in space, with the ball.” Paul Scholes
“I have to say Messi. My dad always showed me clips of Pelé, Maradona, Johan Cruyff, a little bit of the older generation — but yeah, for me personally, growing up it was Messi.” Cody Gakpo
“I think he reached and surpassed the level of Maradona. He does incredible things, at a speed that is insane.” Paolo Maldini
“If you commit, he dribbles past you — if you don't commit, he'll do a superfast one-two. If you foul him he'll score the freekick.” Louis Saha
“It is as if someone commands him from the stands, like a video game. I have never seen a human run with the ball at that speed. I have not seen Maradona so I cannot compare, but Messi is simply unbeatable.” Mikel Arteta
“Messi has been the best player in the world for the last 7 years. He doesn’t talk, doesn’t complain, he just plays football.” Edinson Cavani
"Lionel Messi is quite clearly the best player ever. It’s a pleasure to pit myself against him and when I finish my career it’s something I can look back on and know I’ve tested myself against the very best." - John Terry
“Messi is a once in a generation player. It’s unlikely that any human being will repeat his numbers.” Buffon
“Messi is a special player, certainly the best attacker I’ve played against to date, but I think comparing players from different generations is difficult. All I know is that he’s spectacular and already is definitely among the best ever.” Thiago Silva
“Messi is on a different level. The fact he is doing what he is year after year says that he is the best of all time.” van Nistelrooy
“Messi is the real deal when it comes to Number 10s. He represents a type of football that transcends borders.” Del Piero
“Messi’s plaudits are hard to accept, we play in other countries and we do not see the local fans supporting our players there. Over 40 thousand Brazilians applauded, and that’s hard for who is on the field. When I see them applauding Messi I get annoyed.” Gilberto
“My dream XI. Upfront I’d choose Messi. For me he’s the all-time best player.” David Silva
“No, I will recognise that he deserves to win it (the 2019 Ballon d'Or), for sure. Everybody knows Messi, so I don't have to describe how good he is.” Sadio Mane
“Ronaldinho is better than Cristiano Ronaldo, but neither are as good as Leo Messi.” Antonio Cassano
“There is only one player who is doing things that I could never do — and that is Messi.” Totti
“There’s only one that is a little stronger than me: Messi. All the othersare behind me.” Balotelli
“This Guy (Messi) is the Best Player in the World, no doubt about that. I think we’re always nervous about calling people who are currently playing, who are young at 23, to say he’s the Best Player ever. But we shouldn’t be. We should admit what we are seeing in front of our eyes. This is a special talent, who may be is the Best Player ever been seen.” Gary Neville
He told me someone else was coming to dinner and all of sudden Messi walked in. He looked so small so insignificant, and yet to me he was the world’s greatest player. For a moment, I wasn’t even able to speak.” Emmanuel Adebayor
Messi is a Joke, for me he is the Best Ever!” - Wayne Rooney
Messi is one of the best players I’ve played against and also one of the finest players I’ve ever seen.” David Beckham
"Fella’s a genius. Best ever by a distance in my life time. Never really saw Pele… Souness, Gullit, Venables and now Rooney agree Messi is the best they have seen. He plays a game with which we are not familiar." - Gary Lineker
"I can’t believe anyone can have played the game of soccer as well as Messi." - Michael Owen
"I played with Romario, Rivaldo, Ronaldo, Laudrup and Stoichkov but Messi is the best I’ve seen." - Albert Ferrer
“I have played against Platini, Maradona, Cruyff and played with George Best — a lot of big names, but none of them has been able to do what Messi does. Two years ago I said that the best player I played against was Maradona and the best player I have played with was Bestie. But I can now say I have never seen a player as good as Messi. He’s in a league of his own.” Gerry Armstrong
"For the world of soccer, Messi is a treasure because he is a role model for children around the world… Messi will be the player to win the most Ballons d’Or in history. He will win five, six, seven. He is incomparable. He’s in a different league." - Johan Cruyff
"He is an anomaly. The rest will have to wait until he falls off a little bit.” - Edgar Davids
"I have seen the player who will inherit my place in Argentine soccer and his name is Messi. Messi is a genius." - Diego Maradona
"I like Messi a lot, he’s a great player. Technically, we’re practically at the same level." - Pele
"I was a big fan of Maradona growing up and of the current crop Ronaldo is good but Messi is the best I’ve ever seen. I don’t dish out praise lightly but Messi deserves it. I look for weaknesses in his game and I can’t find them." - Roy Keane
"Messi is a genius. He has everything. When I watch him, I see a player who is very, very, skilful, very clever and his left foot is like Diego Maradona’s." - Franz Beckenbauer
"Messi or Cristiano? Cristiano Ronaldo is very good, but I prefer Messi. He’s incredible." - Gheorghe Hagi
"Newton and Einstein had a certain level of autism - I hope that, like them, Messi surpasses himself every day and continues to give us his beautiful brand of soccer." - Romario
"Once they said they can only stop me with a pistol. Today you need a machine gun to stop Messi." - Hristo Stoichkov
“He creates his goals from absolutely nothing — more so than anyone that I’ve ever seen.” Alan Shearer
“I am also amazed with Messi, what he is doing is very good. He contributes alot of very good things for the team. He is an individualist, but he always plays for the team.He covers well at the back, is organized and finishes well with both feet. He is mischievous, and is a very intelligent player. He applies pressure just where the pressure is needed.” Alfredo Di Stefano
“I think now Messi is probably done more than most players. But he is in the same class as Alfredo de Stefano, Johan Cruyff, Pelé. When he finishes and he retires, he will automatically become one of them. A player that people will talk about forever, while the game of football is as good and as popular as it is. He is a sensational player.” Bobby Charlton
“It’s been an absolute privilege to watch Messi for nearly 2 decades. Moment after moment of spellbinding, breathtakingly joyous football. A gift from the footballing Gods. So pleased that he’s lifted the ultimate prize in our sport." Gary Lineker
“Lionel Messi is the Best Player Ever.” Graeme Souness
“Messi is Maradona every single day. It's been June 1986 for the past 5 years — Leo Messi is the Maradona of Mexico '86.” Jorge Valdano
“Messi, he’s exceptional. When you watch him, you feel there’s a child inside him and he is making some childhood dream come true. He’s a Great Player, not only for today but also tomorrow.” Eric Cantona
“My record stood for 40 years and now the best player in the world has broken it. I’m happy for him. Messi is fantastic. An incredible player, a giant. And such a nice and modest guy. Only one defect: he doesn’t play at Bayern.” Gerd Muller
“Once they said they can only stop me with a pistol. Today you need a machine gun to stop Messi.” Hristo Stoichkov
“Regular readers will know I’m a fan of (Cristiano) Ronaldo, and an even bigger fan of the man who’s assumed his mantle with quite astonishing success, Wayne Rooney. But Messi is on a higher plain than even that pair." Andy Cole
“The Messi of the early years was a phenomenon, but he always wanted to finish off the move. Now he goes past one, two or three players and is happy to give an assist to a teammate, it makes him more dangerous than ever before.” Michael Laudrup