Lionel Messi claims he was starstruck when he first met Thierry Henry at Barcelona, so much so that he ‘didn’t dare look’ at his face.
Lionel Messi is an elite footballer who will go down as one of, if not the best to have ever played the game. He has inspired many to take the sport and has left many youngsters, who have played with or against him, gushing to be on the same pitch.
However, before he became a global icon, he was a youngster himself, who was left star struck upon meeting one of the greatest to have ever graced the game. The man is none other than Thierry Henry, who joined Barcelona from Arsenal back in 2007.
Lionel Messi claims he was starstruck when he first met Thierry Henry at Barcelona
In 2007, Henry was regarded as the best player ever in the Premier League. His signing by the Catalan club was seen as a major coup. Messi on the other hand, had only been a first-team regular for 18-months and was not even named on the bench for his side’s victory over Henry’s Arsenal in the 2006 Champions League final.
Messi has now revealed what it felt like to be in the presence of such an icon at that time.
“The first day he entered the dressing room, I did not dare to look him in the face,” Messi told L’Equipe, per Daily Mail.
“I knew everything he had done in England. I had an image of him made and suddenly we were on the same team.
“What I feel for Titi may be a form of admiration. I loved Henry. The ease of finishing an action, how he takes the road to the goal and ends the play.
“He gives the impression that it is natural. His career, his dribbling, the last gesture. It is fluid, proportionate.”
When you have Leo Messi, it is a big advantage
Henry had an impressive stint at Barcelona where the club won the treble in 2008-09 before lifting the Club World Cup, UEFA Super Cup and another LaLiga the year after.
It was not only Messi who was in awe of the French legend. The appreciation ran both ways with Henry speaking on multiple occasions of Messi’s brilliance.
Back in 2016, Henry said: “Sometimes I ask myself if Messi is human.”
He later told Sky Sports:
“I have seen him doing stuff in training and it is just amazing. When he gets upset, he runs around the whole team.
“There is nothing you can do.
“When you have Leo Messi, it is a big advantage. When you have that man in your side, anything can happen.”
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