Barcelona star Lionel Messi has expressed his belief that if it wasn’t for his development at La Masia, he wouldn’t be the player he is today.
Speaking with the ‘Promesas’ programme on Barca TV, a feature which covers news and reviews about youth players at the Catalan club, Lionel Messi highlighted that he owes everything he has today, to the work done whilst coming through the prestigious youth system.
“Barcelona have given me everything. I was developed with the values of La Masia and I am what I am, thanks to these values in the youth system here.”
Messi did admit that it wasn’t easy for him though, when he first joined the club.
“I was delighted when Barca called me. I had to go six months without playing, as my transfer hadn’t come through and when I could get to play, I was injured. It was a complicated time.”
The Argentine star, who has shot to the very top of his profession, since that difficult start to his Barca career, went on to highlight just how important the youth system has been for the club.
“It’s an example to everyone, when you see so many players from our youth system, in the first-team. We’re always delighted to see players moving up to train with us. We want them to enjoy themselves, because that’s the most important thing in this sport.”
Messi also sent an important message to all the youngsters at the club, who aspire to realise their dreams.
“If they work hard, show sacrifice and will to succeed, I think that anyone can achieve their dreams here.”
Looking back again on his time in the youth categories, Messi also spoke of his memories shared with current first-team colleagues, Cesc Fàbregas and Gerard Piqué.
“I came through the same time as Piqué and Cesc at junior level. Cesc was very important in the locker room and Piqué was always more of a joker. Now he’s a lot calmer and he’s always been great with me.”